Red Beet, Greens, and Orange Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

This beautiful salad is a perfect start to any meal. Fresh and bursting with flavor and color, it is not your typical green salad.

I love fresh beets. Sometimes they do sit a while in the fridge as I forget just how magical they are. This is one of those recipes that you can rely on to transform that forgotten root into one of the best versions of beets ever!

I made this salad to accompany prime rib this Christmas, and there was not one bite left of it when we finished.

You can find beets, oranges, and greens year-round now, so if you want a lot of color and freshness to start any meal, this is a great bet!

Red beet, greens, and orange salad with Dijon vinaigrette

A colorful, savory, and sweet salad bursting with flavor of roasted beet, fresh greens, and oranges
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 4 whole red beets fresh
  • 2 oranges medium to large
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup radicchio torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Remove beet greens and discard (or save for another use)
  • Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil
  • Roast in oven, on sheet pan, for one hour, until beets are tender
  • Meanwhile, peel oranges and cut into 1/2-inch segments
  • Toss romaine, radicchio, diced red onion, and orange segments in a large salad bowl
  • Once beets are roasted, remove from oven and let cool – about 10 minutes
  • Remove beets from foil and, running under cool water, use your fingers to remove skins from beets. Skin should easily slide off if beets are thoroughly cooked
  • Dice beets into 1/2-inch segments and toss with greens and oranges
  • Drizzle salad with Dijon vinaigrette and toss well

Bacon-and-Egg Greens Salad with Avocado, Radicchio, Grapes and Vinaigrette

This is a ridiculously easy, healthy, and hearty salad perfect for lunch or a light dinner served along with soup or a crusty bread.

I made this during a recent overnight camping adventure – see my post “On Conquering Fears II: Overnight Camping.” https://on-conquering-fears-ii-overnight-camping

Although it was just me and my constant companion puppy, this salad was a hit!


But truly, I have made this salad many times, both at home and elsewhere, as it is so easy and my family loves it.

A friend recommended adding finely chopped red onion and bleu cheese, which I think is an excellent idea.

You can also add walnuts or pecans – candied or roasted, even plain! Or dried cranberries, diced apple, or other cheese such as feta or goat cheese.


You won’t catch me making anything with goat cheese though. It’s one of those taste aversions I developed from a childhood memory.

Suffice to say, when I attended a rather weird private school in the high mountains of New Mexico we were served goat’s milk with every lunch. Yuck!


But on to the yummy stuff! Here is the recipe.

Bacon-and-Egg Greens Salad with Radicchio, Grapes, and Vinaigrette

This easy, healthy, and hearty salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner served with soup or a crusty baguette.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 4 slices bacon cooked until crisp and rough chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 eggs hard boiled and chopped into 1/2-inch segments
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 2 cups fresh salad greens roughly torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup radicchio roughly torn
  • 20 seedless red grapes sliced in half

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp local honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Chop salad ingredients roughly and add to large salad bowl, taking care not to damage eggs
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss well

Enjoy and let me know what you decide to add to this salad!

Fiery Cherry & Pinon Nut Salad with Charred Scallion Vinaigrette

Warm up your holidays with this sexy, sweet, and spicy cherry salad!

Serrano and charred scallion vinaigrette add just the right amount of spice and smoke to the bed of sweet cherries you lay down to start this dish.


Creamy pinon nuts round out the flavor, along with a bit more “bite” from the scallion. Don’t skimp here – it looks like a lot of onion, but you need the spicy bite to balance out the sweetness of the cherries.

I really do love a good scallion.

Yes!


In the spirit of yearnings and yum, I give you this recipe I adapted from NY Times last year. It reflects my New Mexico roots exactly.


This dish is perfect for Christmas or any time of year, but because I can’t easily find cherries here this time of year, at least in the US, I am naming this one β€œChristmas in July.”

No matter the occasion, when you make this dish it will be the one that no one has ever had before!

So, in the spirit of Christmas and loving one another, I wish you Merry Christmas and happy cherry hunting!

Fiery “Christmas in July” Cherry & Pinon Nut Salad with Serrano and Charred Scallion Vinaigrette

Prep Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet cherries
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1/2 cup pinon nuts also called pine nuts
  • 1 – 2 serrano peppers red or green, 1 or 2 depending on size
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • Score each cherry with knife at seam circularly around center and slice in half
  • Using your fingers, remove cherry pits and discard
  • Place halved cherries in a large salad bowl
  • Clean and trim scallions, removing tips of green ends and white frond ends
  • Place entire bunch of scallions on cutting board and slice in half, separating green ends from white ends
  • Take white ends and slice each scallion lengthwise into very thin strips
  • Add to cherries bowl
  • Remove stem and seeds from serrano and slice thinly
  • Add to cherries bowl along with pinon nuts
  • Toss well and drizzle with vinaigrette

For the Charred Scallion Vinaigrette

  • Char green ends over stove top burner until fragrant and smoky, just blackened but not disintegrating
  • Place charred ends on board and dice finely, working knife back and forth and running knife at 45-degree angle to mash into a paste
  • Place paste into a small bowl
  • Add vinegar, stirring well to combine
  • Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste, whisk until smooth

On Conquering Fears II: Overnight Camping

Overcoming avoidance is key to healing from trauma. This is a story about overcoming fears through nature and healing through cooking.


I thought I’d go back in time and tell the story of my solo overnight camping trip.


My son, his girlfriend, our big dog and I had gone on a trip to this same area of Northern New Mexico earlier in the summer and stayed a couple of nights, so I felt ready to do this. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but something was compelling me.


For me, it’s scary being alone, especially at night. See my earlier post, “On Conquering Fears: Outbound” https://on-conquering-fears-outbound


I wasn’t fully conscious of what was driving me at the time, but there was a transformation happening with me. That was something I had been aware of for a few months by then.


Anyway, morning of the trip, I pack up.

Even for one, packing takes some time. It’s very helpful to have bins of staple items ready to go, as with most types of adventures that require gear (camping, skiing).

As you’ll see, I wasn’t exactly all alone on this one – I brought my little dog, Nibbles, with me. She is my constant companion but not much of a “protector.” She does have a LOUD bark though.


The ride up is totally uneventful, but glorious. Windows open, taking in trees fragrant and brilliant green, we climb, above the 8,000 ft elevation mark.


For this car-camp, I want a semi-developed site, which means one that is off of the road but that is accessible by 4-wheel drive car. It’s muddy, and I definitely don’t want to get stuck out here all alone! Yikes!


These aren’t developed sites in campgrounds. They are ones where folks have accessed areas off-road and built fire rings with rocks and have flattened areas of ground with their tents. Some have remnants of plastic bottle lids, aluminum foil bits, and other trash.

Shaking my head, I wonder if it’s just carelessness, hurriedness, or other reasons people can be so thoughtless. Most complex behavior is multiply-determined, so I settle on that.


There are people around, but the “sites” are spread out enough that it would take a little bit to access.

I have a hard time finding a spot. There aren’t many and the ones that are accessible are all taken.


I’m nearly at the end of the canyon where the tall trees enshroud. Any further north along the road and the canyon opens up to a wide high plain. No one camps there. It’s too exposed along the road and not beautiful.


My spot is quite sweet – it even has a stream running right through the middle.


Nibbles is too afraid to get out of the car. This is new for her.

I know how she feels.


Letting her get her bearings in her own way and time, I set up camp.

Camp table, 5-gallon water jug, old Coleman grill, cooler.

I get out bags of food supply, flashlight, lighter, my bin of cooking and cleaning utensils.

Air mattress, pillow, and sleeping bag.


If you’ve ever been camping, you’ll know that one of the very first things you do is set up your tent. Did I do that? No.

LOL.

This time we are sleeping in the car! 😜 😜😜😜😜😜


We go fishing down the road, didn’t catch anything today, so time to get a fire going and start dinner.

I wanted something really easy but yummy and light enough.


This is an egg and bacon green salad with radicchio, avocado, and grapes. Here’s how it looked when I made it at home:

Served with a vinaigrette, baguette, and butter this is amazing! You can find the recipe here: https://bacon-and-egg-greens-salad-with-radicchio-grapes-and-vinaigrette


It’s been a nice day. Earlier, a couple walked by my campsite. I could tell they were wondering what a middle-aged woman was doing up here all alone. Or maybe not. It’s funny either way.


Chilling by the fire with Nibbles, who has relaxed by now, I also feel totally relaxed, at peace.


Two cups of Mexican hot cocoa later, it’s getting pretty dark, stars becoming brighter in the night sky. Without the interference from city lights they are so brilliant. One of the reasons I love Northern New Mexico.

Did I tell you that my sister and I used to camp out just the two of us? We were young when we first started – age 11 – on the neighbor’s land. They owned 100 acres. We were never afraid.

That was before.


Nibs and I settle in the back of the car. It is definitely roomy enough, and comfortable. I am not afraid at all now. The windows are rolled up. And we both fall fast asleep.


Sometime later I wake to the sound of an alarm blaring. WTH??


It’s the freaking car alarm. Is there someone around? What is happening???


Grabbing the flashlight, I investigate each side of the car through the windows.

An animal? A person? Eek…

No – nothing. There is nothing out there.


And then it hits me: I probably set the alarm off when I turned over! It’s that darn auto-alarm feature! OMG, LOL!!! 🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣

I’ve experienced this before.


I find the keys and shut off the alarm, thinking about the couple camping aways down the road. I’m sorry, folks, I really am.

Anyway, I go back to sleep.


After that, I swear, I must have set that alarm off maybe 30 times. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Sooner or later, I decided to just keep the car key in my hand so I could shut off within a second or two.

Those poor neighboring campers.


Feeling chagrinned the next morning, we were up pretty early. We pretty much booked it out of there. Hahahaha!!! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£


But we made it through the night – even got some sleep!

This is an enormous win for me.


Hooray!!!! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰


I make some coffee, pack up, and clean up the site, looking around, thanking the wild for offering solitude.

Nibbles doesn’t want to get in the car.

I know how she feels.