Cooking With Carol: Fresh Produce

Carol Parker is in the kitchen this week with Eileen Nicholes of the Webb City Farmers Market. The duo shows us how to pick the freshest produce and how to cook it just right. The family will be running to the dinner table with these tasty dishes!

Watercress Salad with Roasted Beets and Oranges

1 pound small-to-medium red beets, with 1 inch of stems

left intact

Olive oil

3 navel oranges

2 tbsp raspberry vinegar

2 tbsp chopped shallots

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 cups of B&W watercress leaves, washed and dried

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400

degrees F.

Rub the beets with olive oil and place in a shallow roasting pan.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the beets are

tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 40 to 60 minutes,

depending on their size. Remove the pan from the oven and let

the beets cool. When cool enough to handle, unwrap the beets

and peel. Cut the beets into -inch-thick slices or wedges and

set aside in small bowl.

Meanwhile, grate the rind (zest) from 2 of the oranges. Cut one

of those oranges in half crosswise and squeeze the juice into a

small bowl. Add the zest, vinegar, and shallots, and let the

mixture sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Whisk in the

Dijon mustard, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Alternately, you

can combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar and

shake vigorously to emulsify the vinaigrette.

Add 1 to 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette to the beets, tossing to coat.

Slice off the tops and bottoms of the remaining 2 oranges. Then,

with a sharp knife, cut off the peel and pit (white membrane) in

vertical strips working from the top down, following the natural

curve of the fruit. Release the segments by cutting on the inside

of each membrane.

Place the watercress in a large bowl and drizzle with some of

the vinaigrette, tossing to coat the leaves. Transfer the

watercress to a platter and arrange the beets and orange

segments atop the greens. Serve immediately.

Originally from Earthbound Salads Jan '09.

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