|Upon looking at the ingredient list, I realized that step 1 was actually making Terry's recipe for candied walnuts. I only had almonds in the house but that didn't bother me. So, I mixed up my almonds with modified amounts of extra virgin olive oil, sugar, and agave nectar (I didn't have the 4 c. of nuts that the recipe called for so I reduced the other ingredients too) and tossed 'em into my cast iron pan:
From there, I emptied the pan onto a plate (the recipe calls for using parchment paper but I didn't have any). And in my excitement to try my new treats, I burnt my tongue pretty badly. Oops.
FYI for the person who asked, my plates have dragonflies on them, not pooping butterflies. And the candied nuts tasted goooood.
From there I was able to actually start the recipe for the salad. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the recommended music. This recipe (and thus, the recommended music) is designed as a tribute to Melvin Van Peebles and I have no idea who the heck that is. I suppose I'm too white for my own good.
4 medium beets, scrubbed, tops trimmed, root tails left intact
Coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
12 teaspoon agave nectar
Freshly ground white pepper
3 large bunches arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped (6 to 7 cups)
1 1/2 cups candied walnuts
I'm making it with 3 large beets, no pepper (I hate pepper), and spinach instead of arugula (I hate arugula - it's peppery). So here goes.
Combine the beets, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over high heat. Boil uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Drain. Peel the beets by holding them under cold running water and rubbing their skins off with your fingers or a clean towel.
Once it came to a boil it was quite obvious that you should NOT make this recipe while wearing clothes that you don't want to get dirty. I changed from a cashmere sweater into a shirt I use for hiking while the water was boiling.
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Trim the tials off the bottom of the beets. Reserve two of them for the vinaigrette and compost the others. Cut the beets into 1/4-inch dice. In a medium bowl, toss the diced beets with 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the beets from the oven, transfer them back into the bowl just used, and toss with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Return to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
(I skipped the parchment paper. No big deal.)
In a blender, combine the reserved roasted beet tails with the remaining red wine vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper to taste. Blend while slowly pouring in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. If needed, add more salt to taste.
I probably should have used a blender. Oh well. Because I'm making this salad for 1 (me) and it makes 4-6 servings, I decided to make 100% of the dressing and save it in a mason jar for later.
Place the arugula pieces in a large serving bowl, add the roasted beets on top, and add the candied walnuts on top of that. Immediately before serving, toss well with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat.
The result? Delicious. Highly recommended. Although I wouldn't mind a bit of extra Dijon mustard in the dressing - not too much, just a teeny tiny bit extra.