Beet Salad with Crispy Shallots

As the weather keeps getting warmer, I find myself craving salads. A. and I are trying to eat a bit healthier, and beets are one of my favorite vegetables -- their earthy, sweet taste and vibrant color makes them perfect for spring salads. Since the famer's market doesn't have zucchini and summery produce quite yet, I will content myself with beets, goat cheese, and crispy fried shallots. Enjoy this simple salad as a first course, or alone with a glass of rosé (like I did).  Beet Salad with Crispy Shallots (serves 2)

2 large, or 4 small beets

2 tablespoons + teaspoon olive oil, divided

1 large shallot, very thinly sliced

8 oz. mixed greens

2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

For dressing:

1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

Pinch brown sugar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop ends off of beets, and place on a sheet of tinfoil. Drizzle with teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of tinfoil over them, crimping at the edges to form a sort of packet. Roast until a fork goes into the beets smoothly, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until crispy, being careful not to let them burn, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

Mix dressing ingredients in a small glass or jar, whisking well to combine. Place greens on a plate, add beets and goat cheese. Sprinkle shallots over, then drizzle dressing evenly. Serve immediately. 



$10 Mondays: Mushroom Crostini

For today's $10 post, I will be continuing the party-themed appetizers (more this week + cake!) You may have already noticed these mushroom crostini in pictures from my earlier party posts and wondered what they were. Well, to answer your questions, these make a great winter appetizer and with a simple green salad also make a cheap dinner. Even though NYC's temperatures may reach 70(!) degrees this week, the produce selection is still decidedly wintery, so these are a good option until more exciting tomatoes and zucchini are available. Mushroom Crostini (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1/2 lb mushrooms (I used baby bellas)

2 tablespoons butter

2 shallots, minced

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

1/2 baguette, cut into very thin slices

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Clean mushrooms well and chop into very small pieces.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and reduce for 5 minutes more. Stir in cream and cook until most of the liquid has reduced 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Top each with a tablespoon of mushrooms.