Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beet, green bean, panceta, and walnut salad

This salad is my favorite salad of all time.  Well that's a lie, but it's damn good.  So good in fact, that I even convinced a die-hard non beet eater to convert to eating beets.  Honey roasted beets, crispy blanched green beans,  crunchy panceta pieces, and candied walnuts with a citrus mustard dressing.  Yes please!  Add it to the arsenal folks, it's a keeper.

- 6 large beets, peeled and cut into large bite-size pieces
- 1/2 kilo of green beans, cut in half
- 100 grams of walnuts
- 150 grams panceta en un solo trozo, cubed
- dijon mustard
- juice of a lemon, orange, or grapefruit
- honey
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, garlic powder

Directions: Lay beets on a baking sheet, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, large tbsp of honey and olive oil to coat each beet.  Roast in oven on high for 20-40 minutes until they are done.  Take them out, sprinkle with more salt to taste and let cool.

On a separate baking sheet, place the walnuts in the oven.  Roasted for about 10 minutes, constantly checking that they don't burn.  Take them out and drizzle over a teaspoon of honey and mix for about a minute or two to coat each walnut.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and let cool and harden.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  While it's heating, get another large bowl ready with ice water.  You want it really cold.  Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 3 minutes max.  Strain them into the ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process.  This also keeps them bright green.  Let them hang out until you're ready to combine.

Add panceta to a pan on the stove top.  Cook until the bacon begins to crisp and get nice and brown.  Remove from heat and place panceta on a towel to drain the excess fat.  Save the bacon grease for soups, breads, or something tasty!
Now make the dressing with a tbsp on mustard, tsp of honey, the juice of a lemon etc, olive oil and salt to taste.  Mix to combine and add more of whatever ingredient to get the flavor you like.  Add all the elements of the salad together minus the walnuts.  Drizzle some the dressing over the salad and add the nuts to the top.  Delicious!

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