Monday, 1 July 2013

Canadian Love

Every Canada Day I like to make a new Canada Day themed dish. Once day I'll get away from my thoughts of red and white food parties, but not this year. The dish I've sharing today is at least slightly more elegant than some I've created in past years, but it's still a red and white dish.

I ended up making a salad this year that could complement any grilled main, or could even be dinner on its own. It's made with beautiful roasted red beets, toasted white hazelnuts, orange segments for a burst of extra colour, tart fresh raspberries, maple syrup, and a little torn purple basil. I was going to add in some crumbled goat cheese for little extra white, but I stopped myself. I knew the salad didn't need cheese especially with the maple syrup, and I was only going to add it for the colour. That's a first step to no more colour themed dishes, right?

Roasted and Toasted Beet Salad - serves 4 for a side dish or appetizer, or 2 for a light main

3 medium beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup hazelnuts 
2 large oranges, cut into supreme segments 
1/2 pint of raspberries 
2 tablespoons purple basil, torn
4 teaspoons of maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste 

1. Wrap beets individually in foil and roast at 400 degrees in your oven until soft when poked in the middle with a knife, about 50 - 60 minutes. Peel beets when cool enough to touch and cut into thin rounds. Set aside.

2. While beets are roasting, toast the hazelnuts. Add hazelnuts to a dish and toast in your oven for about 10-15 minutes. You will be able to smell their nuttiness when they're done. If they still have the brown skins on them, wrap them in a dish towel when they're out of the oven and let steam for about a minute, them rub them to remove the skins. Don't worry if some of the skins are stubborn, it's ok to leave some skins on.

3. Arrange rounds of beets on the bottom of each plate. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with oranges, hazelnuts, raspberries, maple syrup, and basil. Enjoy!

I love this salad because it's so refreshing - especially on such a hot day in Victoria. Not that I'm complaining about the weather!

And if you really want to have a red and white dish, leave out the oranges and replace them with ruby or white grapefruits. Talk about another winning dish!

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