GRRReat Salad To GEAUX!

fullsizeoutput_4747.jpegMonday night’s college football championship will be here before you know it!  And, the important question is…..Are you cheering for the right TIGERS???

If you are, I have a salad to accompany that pot of gumbo or red beans you might be serving up! This salad has purple and gold, roasted beets, goat cheese, Cajun pecans, and an orange-molasses vinaigrette.

All of the ingredients pair well together.  There is a little sweet, a little salty, a little creamy and a little crunchy.  And, in the Louisiana tradition we are using pecans, “Chinese Bandit-style” rice wine vinegar, and molasses.  To honor Coach O, we are using a little Cajun seasoning, too.

The grrreat thing about the salad is that all of the ingredients can be made ahead and then tossed together before the game.

(Let me throw you something else….I was thinking this salad would be great to also serve for a Mardi Gras function.  Whoa Mistah!)

So here’s how I pulled this together……

IMG_7988.JPGI first made the pecans.IMG_7994.JPGI whisked one egg white until foamy.IMG_7996.JPGI whisked in the cajun seasoning and oil.IMG_7999.JPGI then folded in the pecans.IMG_8000.JPGI poured them onto a parchment paper-line sheet pan and put into a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.IMG_8004.JPGIMG_8005.JPGIMG_8006.JPGI allowed to cool completely. IMG_8007.JPGNext, I roasted the beets.  I used purple and golden beets for our school’s colors.  I cut off the greens, peeled the skin and placed on a foil-lined sheet pan.  I drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. IMG_8013.JPGI tossed to coat and covered with more foil.  I baked for around 45 minutes in a 425 degree oven.IMG_8014.JPGIMG_8025.JPGTo determine if they were done, I stuck a toothpick into to middle of each one.  If it went all the way through, they were done.  I allowed to cool and then diced them up.IMG_8027.JPGIMG_8029.JPGNext I made the dressing.IMG_8016.JPGIn a jar, I added orange zest, orange juice, grated garlic, rice wine vinegar, molasses and olive oil.  I seasoned with salt and pepper.  I put the lid on and shook until everything was incorporated.IMG_8024.JPGNext it was time to put it all together.IMG_8031.JPGIMG_8032.JPGI put 5 ounces of mixed greens into a salad bowl.IMG_8033.JPGI added the beets.IMG_8034.JPGI added the pecans.The goat cheese….(I just pinched pieces off.)IMG_8037.JPGRight before serving, I poured the dressing all around and tossed together.fullsizeoutput_4749.jpegfullsizeoutput_4748.jpegIMG_8043.JPGIMG_8047.JPGRecipe:

(serves 6-8)

(Total time:  approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes)

Pecans

2 cups pecans

1 egg white

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy.  Whisk in the oil and seasoning.  Fold in the pecans.  Place pecans on a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Allow to cool.

Beets

5-6 beets, golden and purple varieties

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel beets and place on a foil-lined pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss.  Cover with more foil.  Bake until tender, around 45 minutes.

Vinaigrette

1 orange

1 clove of garlic, grated

2 tsp. molasses

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

4 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Zest and juice the orange.  To a jar with a lid, add 1 tsp. of zest, orange juice and rest of ingredients.  Put lid on and shake until everything is incorporated.

Salad

5 ounces of mixed greens

4 ounces of Chèvre (goat cheese)

pecans (above)

roasted beets (above)

vinaigrette

When ready to serve salad, place greens in a large bowl.  Top with beets, pecans, and goat cheese. Right before serving, pour dressing over the salad and toss well!  Serve immediately!

Bon appetit and GEAUX TIGERS!

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Toodle-oo,

Melanie

HNOTD:  Coach O Turns Out To Be The Perfect Choice for LSU

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