Lyonnaise Salad Crostini

salad

This is another take on the classic French salad. If you’ve never had a Lyonnaise salad, it is just a poached egg, bacon and frisee lettuce. The simple things are often the best. Instead of using poached eggs; I fried them, and I used quail eggs instead so they would fit into small toasts. I turned the bacon into crumbs, and made an onion-white wine vinaigrette. It works great for a dinner party and as a light lunch. I love frisee; I really enjoy the bite that it gives. I have a beet tartare recipe which also has it, and you can check it out by clicking here.

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Summer seems to come and go here, some days it feels like summer and others like early autumn. Today is the latter one, rainy and a bit chilly.  Yesterday wasn’t very nice either, but we had a great lunch at the Pure Markt in the Amstel Park. We arrived starving and wanted to eat everything in sight! We went for some steamed buns, duck banh mi, a donut and a delicious pulled pork cheeseburger topped with fried onions. We left the market with very happy bellies.

pulled pork cheeseburger

Ingredients:

1 baguette, sliced and toasted

3 cups of frisee, washed and torn into pieces

12 quail eggs, or more depending on the amount of bread slices that you have

140gr smoked bacon slices

For the vinaigrette:

1 medium white onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 shot of white wine

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy. Then place it in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. To get it a bit crunchier again, I spread it over a baking tray lined with parchment paper and baked it for about 10 minutes at 180C/350F. But you can skip this step.

Cook the onion with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add the white wine. Stir for a few seconds until the liquid evaporates a bit. Place the onions with the liquid in a jar, add the remaining ingredients for the vinaigrette. Cover with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Set aside.

Fry the quail eggs.

To plate up, place a bit of frisee on top of each toast. Then add the fried egg, spoon some of the vinaigrette and finish it by sprinkling some of the bacon crumbs.

 

 

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Salade Nicoise with a Parsley-Anchovy Vinaigrette

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This is my take on the traditional salad nicoise. I make it with seared tuna, quinoa instead of potatoes and I take the anchovies out of the salad and incorporate them into the dressing by making a parsley-anchovy vinaigrette. This is one of my go-to salads when I feel like something healthy but also filling. And now that summer is in full swing, a nice salad is very welcome. Especially one that won’t have me going through to the candy drawer (Yes, I have a deliciously filled candy and savory snacks drawer in my living room) 30 minutes later because I’m still hungry.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

½ cup of quinoa

100gr of Kalamata olives

A big handful of green beans

8 tomatoes, sliced (I used a mix)

3 soft boiled eggs

300gr of fresh tuna

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Lemon pepper (optional)

Cayenne (optional)

For the anchovy-parsley vinaigrette:

5 tablespoons of chopped parsley

8 anchovies, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the quinoa first. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Then start making the vinaigrette. You can place all of the ingredients in the food processor and just pulse until you get your desired consistency. Or you can just chop the parsley and anchovies together. Then place them in a jar with the rest of the ingredients, cover with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies.  Set aside until ready to use.

Sautee the green beans in a pan with some olive oil, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt and black pepper. Do this until they become tender- crisp.

Place the eggs in a pot with boiling water and boil them for 7 minutes.

To sear the tuna, just season it with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne. Pour a bit of olive oil in a pan, over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot; just place the tuna and sear it for a few seconds on each side. This is where you want to be quick turning it, because it cooks pretty fast (Unless you want it well done).

Once the tuna is seared, transfer it to a cutting board and thinly slice it.

To plate up, divide the quinoa into 3 plates. Add the green beans, black olives and tomatoes. Then add the soft boiled eggs sliced in half, the tuna and finish by drizzling some of the vinaigrette.

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Adult Fruit Salad (Cherry, Orange & Strawberry Salad with Balsamic-Elderflower Dressing)

adult fruit salad

As soon as warmer weather approaches, I start looking forward to summer fruits, especially berries and cherries. I love going to the market, and seeing all the stands filled with gorgeous and colorful produce. That’s my kind of guiltless candy shop. I wanted to make a fruit salad that was a bit different, with a bit more adult flavors so to say. And by adult, I don’t mean alcoholic.

Balsamic reduction is a staple in my pantry. I actually still remember the first time I tried it. I was having dinner with my parents at an Italian restaurant about 15 years ago, and we ordered an octopus salad that came with a balsamic reduction.  We all loved it and my mom asked how to make it. Since then, she’s always had it in her pantry and when I moved out, I started to do the same.

To make the dressing, I reduced some elderflower cordial into the balsamic reduction. It adds a floral depth to the dish. The combination of the dressing and the juices from the fruits are a nice explosion of flavors in the mouth. Add the creaminess of the whipped goat cheese and crunchy pistachios, and you’ve got a great mix of textures as well.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and halved

2 cups of strawberries, thinly sliced

3 oranges, segmented

¼ cup of unsalted pistachios, chopped

For the whipped goat cheese:

100gr of goat cheese

4 tablespoons of cream

For the dressing:

¼ cup of balsamic reduction

5 tablespoons of elderflower cordial

 

If you have never made balsamic reduction before, it is super easy to make. You don’t need a fancy bottle of balsamic vinegar; just get a cheap one, since it’s going to reduce a lot. Pour 250ml of balsamic vinegar into a pan. Reduce over medium-low heat until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Don’t let it get too thick though, as it will thicken as it cools down. If it gets too thick, you can always warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. You can make this in advance and keep it in your pantry. I use it often so I normally make a bigger batch. It is very nice to drizzle over sautéed asparagus.

Prepare all of your fruit.

To make the whipped goat cheese, just place the goat cheese and cream in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

To make the dressing, place the balsamic reduction and elderflower cordial in a pan. Let it simmer over med-low heat for about 1-2 minutes, until it is all mixed. Don’t let it reduce too much, otherwise it will become a caramel and you won’t be able to pour it.

To plate up, pour some of the dressing on the plate. Then add the fruit. I formed quenelles with the whipped goat cheese. Finally, sprinkle some pistachios.

 

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Beet Tartare with Whipped Goat Cheese and Roasted Strawberry & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Beet tartare

With strawberry season in full swing, I’ve been eating them pretty much every day.  I’ve been putting them in my breakfast bowl, salads, dressings and cupcakes.  There are more strawberry recipes to come to the blog for sure!

This is a great vegetarian dish to serve as an appetizer or just eat a big bowl of it as a main course. If you have the time, mix the beets with the strawberry vinaigrette and let it sit overnight in the fridge for the flavors to develop. It’s worth it! I found this out because we had some left over the next day and my hubby was scouring the fridge for something to munch on. He grabbed the bowl and went at it. He brought it to me and said: Wow, you have to try it! It is even better now than yesterday. The strawberry flavor is intensified with the sweetness of the beets.

I love frisee.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a member of the endive family. It has curly and bitter leaves and it is great in salads. Frisee can be hard to find. Supermarkets here usually include it in their salad bags but as a mix, not by itself. I got this one at a big stand at the Albert Cuyp market.

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On another note, I have been featured on the Kitchenbowl journal. I was honored when they approached me about sharing my tips for great food photography. Kitchenbowl is an app where you can share your recipes, an international community for people who love to cook. It has been featured in the app store as one of the best new apps. I’ve been part of the Kitchenbowl community since last year and it is still one of my most used apps.  You can read my tips about food photography by clicking here.

This recipe serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

6 roasted beets, diced (you can roast them in the oven for 1 hour at 180C/350F)

¼ of a head of frisee

1 apple, finely sliced

1 cup of pecans

6 strawberries, sliced

Micro basil

For the roasted strawberry & balsamic vinaigrette:

200gr of fresh strawberries, sliced

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons of agave syrup

¼ cup of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the whipped goat cheese:

200gr soft goat cheese

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

To make the vinaigrette:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Place the sliced strawberries on the prepared tray, pour the balsamic vinegar on top and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the agave syrup.  Roast the strawberries for 15 minutes.

Place the roasted strawberries, including the juices in the food processor. Add 1 extra tablespoon of agave syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until you get a smooth dressing.  Set aside.

To make the whipped goat cheese:

Just place the goat cheese and cream in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

To make the salad:

Mix the diced roasted beets with the vinaigrette. If you have the time, do this the night before and let it sit in the fridge for the flavors to develop.

To plate up, place a bit of the frisee on the plate. Add the beets, then place a few strawberry and apple slices. Add a few pecans, the micro basil and finally the whipped goat cheese. I place the goat cheese in a piping bag and just piped a few small dollops onto the plate.

 

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Charred Cauliflower and Romanesco Salad with Beef and Avocado & Tahini Dressing

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This is basically a crudité platter turned into a salad. I love the creaminess of the tahini and the avocado in the dressing. I’ve been eating a lot of charred cauliflower lately. Healthy snacking! With summer coming and the temperature rising, I crave more vegetables and fruit than in winter. I am dreaming of a hot summer. Hopefully this year, it will be a good one!

I charred the cauliflower but not the romanesco because I wanted it to still be bright green. But you can also just mix it with the cauliflower and char them both in the oven.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

1 romanesco, cut into florets

2 beef steaks, about 300grs

10 radishes, thinly sliced

3 yellow beets, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the dressing:

2 avocado

2 tablespoons of tahini

Juice of 2 limes

¼ cup of olive oil

¼ white vinegar

¼ cup pf water

Salt to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get a creamy consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic film and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and place in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is charred.

Boil the Romanesco florets for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Thinly slice the beets and radishes.

Cook the steaks as desired. I just added a few spices and cooked them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, over medium-high heat. Let them rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing them.

To plate the salad, just arrange all of the vegetables first. Then drizzle some of the dressing and finally add the sliced beef.

 

 

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Citrus Bulgur Salad with Beets & Pistachios

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With the weather changing for the better, it is nice to eat cold dishes again. The day I made this for dinner, I made extra so I would have some left over for lunch. It didn’t last that long. Got the munchies at night and finished the whole thing. I’ve made it a few times already since then. I just love the combination of flavors and textures.  The crunchy pistachios, salty feta, sweet beets, the tartness of the grapefruits with the sweetness of the oranges; are just delicious together. If you buy the beets already cooked, like I did this time, this salad only takes 15 minutes to make.

This is a great lunch to take to work the next day, and it also works great with quinoa instead of bulgur.

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This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 ½ cups of bulgur

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

200gr of feta, chopped

3 cooked beets, peeled and sliced about the same size as the oranges

Seeds of 1 pomegranate

½ cup of pistachios, chopped

3 oranges

3 grapefruits

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 ½ tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

Place the bulgur in a pot, add plenty of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To save time I bought the beets already cooked. If you want to cook them yourself, just place them in the oven and roast them for about 1 hour or until tender at 180C/350F. Or just boil them until tender. Once they are cooked, peel them and slice them.

Peel the oranges and grapefruits using a sharp knife. Then slice them into sections.

To make the dressing, just mix all of the ingredients together. I always find it easier to just place everything in a jar and shake it.

Place the cooked bulgur in a large bowl; add the feta, parsley and dressing. Mix well.

Divide the seasoned bulgur into 4 plates. Arrange the oranges, grapefruit and beet slices on top. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios. If you want, you can decorate the dish with some edible flowers. I used yellow pansies.

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Green Spring Salad with Salmon and a Rhubarb-Miso dressing

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Time for a super healthy recipe again. I love a good hearty salad for dinner. A few weeks ago, I got some rhubarb for the first time this year, I used part of it to make my Rhubarb, goat cheese & thyme tart and I saved 2 stalks to make the dressing for this salad. I wanted to make a rhubarb dressing but had no plans to add miso to it. But when I made the dressing it was missing something. I checked what I had in the house and decided to add some miso to it, since I love the combination of miso and salmon. And miso turned out to be what was missing in the dressing. I really liked the end result. And because it is spring, it’s nice to add a pop of color to a salad with some edible flowers.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

½ cup of amaranth

2 avocados, thinly sliced

300gr Salmon fillet, without the skin

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of edamame

3 handfuls of lamb’s lettuce (called here veldsla)

3 poached eggs

Lemon pepper

Salt

Olive oil

For the dressing:

2 rhubarb stalks, sliced & then boiled for 5 minutes

½ cup of apple cider vinegar

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

2 teaspoons of Miso paste, I used red miso

Salt to taste

For decoration:

Pansies

Micro watercress

 

First cook the amaranth, boil it for 15 minutes and then drain it with a very fine mesh strainer. Set aside

To make the dressing, boil the sliced rhubarb for 5 minutes. Drain it, and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients except for the salt. The miso paste is already quite salty so taste first. Set aside.

Cook the edamame as instructed on the package. I get mine frozen and still in the pod, and I just put it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

To prepare the asparagus, I prefer to buy the small, thin ones because they don’t need any preparation except for washing them and they cook faster. If you get the big asparagus, just snap off the woody ends.  Over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil to a pan. Add the asparagus, salt and lemon pepper. Sauté the asparagus for a couple of minutes until they are crisp and tender. Set aside

To prepare the salmon, slice the fillet into 9 pieces. Season them with lemon pepper and salt. Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Add the salmon and pan-fry it for about 2 minutes on each side.  Set aside.

To poach the eggs, fill a pot with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar, and bring it to a boil. I like to poach one egg at a time.  Crack an egg into a glass or cup. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the boiling water into one direction to form a whirlpool. Carefully drop the egg in the middle of the whirlpool. Let it poach for 3 minutes and then remove it with a slotted spoon. Set aside and repeat for the remaining eggs.

To plate the salad, first arrange some of the avocado slices, lamb’s lettuce and edamame on each plate, then add some of the asparagus and sprinkle some of the amaranth. Then place 3 pieces of salmon in the middle and place the poached egg on top. Finish off with some micro watercress and flowers. I like to serve the dressing on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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Socca with Roasted Beet Hummus & Spring Salad

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Socca is a sort of pancake made with chickpea flour. I have become a big fan of chickpea flour. I started using it a few months ago as a way to increase my protein intake. I’ve come out of my winter hibernation and started to work out more regularly in order to get ready for summer.  So for me, eating more protein (not necessarily from meat) is important.  I also made some healthy mandarin protein cookies using chickpea flour, but those will be on the blog later.

Socca is usually eaten as a snack by itself but it can also be used to make pizza, replacing the pizza dough and making it gluten free. I decided to add some hummus and salad to make it a complete meal. It is quite filling and super healthy. Plus the colors just scream warm weather! This recipe serves 3 to 4 people.

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Ingredients:

For the socca:

2 cups of chickpea flour

2 cups + 2 tablespoons of water

4 tablespoons of olive oil (plus more for the pan/oven tray)

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

For the Beet Hummus:

3 roasted beets; peeled and chopped (I roasted them in the oven for 1 hour or until tender)

1/3 cup of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of tahini

¼ teaspoon of cayenne

¼ teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of canned chickpeas

For the salad:

A handful of sprouts (I used radish sprouts)

2 yellow carrots, shredded

A bunch of lamb’s lettuce or any lettuce you may like

100gr goat’s cheese, crumbled

For the salad dressing:

Juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the socca, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic film and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Set the oven to broil.

You can use a cast iron pan or an oven tray. If you use an oven tray, line it with parchment paper.  Place the pan/tray in the oven while it is heating up.

To make the beet hummus, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor or blender and pulse until it is smooth.  Set aside.

Once the batter has rested and the oven is hot, take the pan/tray out of the oven (don’t forget to use oven mitts).  Whisk the batter again. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan/tray and tilt it around so the whole surface is coated in oil. Pour some of the batter and swirl it around so it covers the whole surface, like when you are making a crepe. Don’t pour too much though; you don’t want it too thick.

socca

The time that it is in your oven will vary. Mine takes about 18 minutes on broil to get ready, which I think it is quite long. Normally it should be anywhere around 5 to 10 minutes. So check from time to time. You want it to be golden and the edges to start to pull.

Once the socca is done, remove it from the pan/tray and repeat for the remaining batter.

To make the salad dressing, just mix all of the ingredients.

To plate up, spread some of the beet hummus on top of the socca. Add some of the lamb’s lettuce, shredded carrot, sprouts, goat’s cheese and top with the salad dressing.

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Roasted Carrot & Leek Salad with Greek Yogurt & Gorgonzola Dressing

leek salad

I wanted to make a simple salad of roasted vegetables that would be great to accompany any meat or be eaten on its own.  I don’t use leek enough as a main ingredient and it is such a nice vegetable. Roasting the leeks makes them silky and tender. Once they are roasted and you separate all the layers, they look almost like pasta.  I decided to add rainbow carrots to make the salad pop and add a different texture.  I made the gorgonzola dressing with Greek yogurt to make it a bit lighter.  This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 medium carrots (I used purple & yellow)

5 medium leeks (not the hard green parts)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Handful of pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or any other nuts/seeds that you may like

For the Dressing:

100gr of Gorgonzola

150gr of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ a lime

½ teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the carrots on the prepared baking tray, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt.

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the leeks in a single layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Seal it.

Roast the carrots and leeks in an 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

To serve the salad, first separate the layers of the leeks and arrange them on each plate. Add some of the carrots. Drizzle some of the dressing and finish with the seeds/nuts.

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Beet, Carrot and Wheat Berry Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wheat berry salad

As a child, my mom would make wheat berry as a stew with tomato sauce.  That’s pretty much the only way I remember eating it as a kid. Then I kind of forgot about it, and only started eating wheat berries again about 1 year and a half ago. I still make it the way my mom does, but this time I wanted to make it into a salad with these beautiful vegetables from my local market.

Just make sure you keep the purple beets separate from the rest so it doesn’t turn the rest of the salad purple.  The vinaigrette is quite thick because of the figs and the balsamic reduction.  If you have never made a balsamic reduction before, it is very easy to make. It is just reducing it until it has become a syrup. I tend to always have it in my pantry, since I like to drizzle it over salads. It is a very wintry kind of salad and it is great for the holidays as the colors really pop and you can make it in advance.

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Ingredients:

For the salad:

400gr wheat berry

4 golden beets (3 roasted, 1 raw)

2 purple beets (1 roasted, 1 raw)

1 yellow carrot, sliced

1 purple carrot, sliced

150gr of gorgonzola, crumbled

1 pomegranate

6 sprigs of thyme

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2 shallots, chopped

4 dried figs, chopped

1/3 cup of balsamic reduction

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of honey

¼ cup of water

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

To make the salad:

Reserve 1 golden and 1 purple beet for later. Wrap the rest of the beets in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 180C/350F for 2 hours, until they are tender.  Allow to cool, then peel and slice them. You can roast the beets in advance.

Rinse the wheat berries under cold water and then boil for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.  You can also cook the wheat berries a few days before.

In a medium pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, thyme and sauté for a few minutes, until tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Peel the raw golden and purple beet that you reserved earlier. Slice them as thin as you can, then chop them into thin strips and then into really small cubes.  Do them separately, so the colors don’t get stained. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette:

First make the balsamic reduction, pour 250ml of balsamic vinegar into a pan. Reduce over medium-low heat until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Don’t let it get too thick though, as it will thicken as it cools down.  You can make this in advance.

In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the shallots and figs. Cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat.  Add 1/3 of a cup of the balsamic reduction and cook for 30 seconds. Then pour it into a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.  Taste if it needs more salt or pepper.

To assemble the salad, mix the vinaigrette with the wheat berry in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix the roasted beets with a bit of olive oil and salt.

Serve the seasoned wheat berries on each plate. Then top with some of the crumbled gorgonzola, roasted beets and carrots. Finally add some of the pomegranate seeds and the raw chopped beets.

I do all of this separate only to show the different colors of the vegetables. Feel free to mix it all if you don’t have the time, but the purple beets will stain the whole salad.

 

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