Arugula & Pickled Beet Salad
Pickled beets give this salad some extra zing and make for a gorgeous presentation. Minced preserved lemon, deliciously salty and citrusy at the same time, is a great addition to salad dressings. Crumbled fresh goat cheese or feta can be substituted for the ricotta salata.
For the croutons (optional):
- 6 slices day-old baguette, each 1 inch thick
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 preserved lemon, peel only, minced (see related recipe at left)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 cups arugula (rocket)
- 1 cup pickled beets, slices halved (see related recipe at left)
- 1/4 lb. ricotta salata cheese
To make the croutons, cut the bread slices into 1-inch cubes. In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bread cubes, reduce the heat to low and cook, turning once, until golden and crusty, about 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with the salt and thyme, toss briefly and transfer to paper towels to drain.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, pepper and lemon. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Add the arugula and beets and toss to coat well.
Divide the salad among individual plates. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the ricotta salata over the salads. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).