Beet and Smoked Trout Salad

Recipe 11 of 103

April describes this dish as being full of contrasts. The beets are warm and sweet, the smokey trout is salty, flaky and tender, then the creme fraiche joins in to refresh your palate.

Here is what you will need

serves 4

3 to 4 bunches of baby beets (20-25) washed well

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing

2 tablespoons nice thick good balsamic vinegar

maldon sea salt

6 or so skin on garlic cloves

6 or so thyme sprigs

1 pound whole smoked trout or packaged smoked trout

5 tablespoons creme fraiche

1/4 cup chopped chives

4 to 5 tablespoons Lemon Olive Dressing

Clean your beets really well, no need to peel them just scrub them really good. Leave an inch or so of the stems on for pretty rustic presentation and roots too. Pre heat oven to 400°

photo by Jenny

photo by Jenny

Put the cleaned beets in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt.

photo by Jenny

photo by Jenny

Put them in a baking dish, make sure to scrap all the oil from the bowl and pour over the beets, add the sprigs of thyme and the skin on garlic gloves.

photo by Jenny

photo by Jenny

Carefully pour a 1/2 cup of water into the baking dish be sure not wash off all the seasoning. Cover with foil and bake for about 50 minutes. Check every once in a while to make sure there is still water in the dish. After 50 minutes remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until all the water is gone and the skins of the beets are blistery. When they’ve cooled, taste and add more salt if needed. roastedbeetsRemove the beets from baking dish into a mixing bowl, leaving the thyme and garlic behind. If you need a quick snack at this point, smash that garlic on to a piece of toast. YUM…ok back at it. Drizzle the dressing over the beets and set aside.smtroutI was lucky enough to find a whole smoked trout at  whole foods  whole paycheck, I went for this option because I know how to remove all the pin bones. If you’re not comfortable with this process buy it packaged, much easier. Here is a visual on removing the skin and bones from my cute little trouttrout1Easy right?

photo by Jenny

photo by Jenny

Assemble your beets, smoked fish and top with creme fraiche and chopped chives on a large platter or for individual servings. If you’re not down with smoked fish just enjoy the beets and the dressing, maybe add some goat cheese instead of fish. You could use any smoked fish you like for this also. April’s method for baking the beets was great, worked really well and yielded perfectly cooked beets with flavor.

Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

Recipe 10 of 103

The perfect simple salad dressing. The simplest combination of ingredients, the bright acidity of the lemon and green grassiness of the olive oil, seasoned well with sea salt and pepper. April talks about using this dressing on grilled fish and boiled potatoes. I could slather it on so much more…..

Basically you put everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake like crazy. Done

Here is what you will need

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

1 cup really good extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons maldon sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Add olive oil to an old jar that still has a lid that fits nice a snug, you know have one some where. lemonolive2Add the lemon juicelemonolive3add black pepper and saltlemonolive4Apply lid and shake like crazy – taste – add more lemon or salt to your taste. easy eh? Keep this handy for the next blog post…..Beet and Smoked Trout Salad

Ranch Dressing – Hippie style

Who doesn’t love ranch dressing ? I used to make a dinner for my picky toddler called dippin dinner.
I could feed him whatever and he’d eat it if he could dip it in ranch dressing. I’ve always had a problem with how commercial ranch dressing tasted, like it had MSG in it, which most do. After messing around I came up with this recipe for fresh creamy ranch like dressing. The clincher is the KEFIR, a cultured milk that taste like yogurt milk, kind of sour, but still rich and creamy, with all the benefits of live cultured yogurt. Kefir can be found in health food stores and some regular grocery stores. It can replace standard sour cream in a lot of recipes, its also great for smoothie’s. Buy it, you’ll like it. Kefir rules !

Hippie Ranch Dressing –

1/3 cup Mayo – don’t f*ck around use Best Foods mayo, it’s the best.
1/2 cup plain Kefir
2-3 cloves of garlic- finely chopped or use garlic press- if you’re not a fan of garlic you can use shallots.
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan Reggiano – again don’t f*ck around, get the good stuff and grate it yourself.
2 tsp fresh lemon juice – Meyer Lemons if you can find them.
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Makes about 2/3 cups of dressing.

Blend all ingredients with a hand whisk and chill until service. Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Pour over a wedge of iceberg lettuce with chopped tomato, red onion & bacon crumbles or serve as a dip with fresh cut veggies.