Beet, Goat Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad
Okay everyone. Here is my salad from a few weeks back on Food Network Star. You know, the one that looked and smelled delicious, but no one could eat since I didn't wash my hands! Aghhhh. Sorry for putting you all through that torturous experience. Haha. All in all though I was likable and all that jazz as I was kept another week. I typically try to get posts up congruent with the episode, but I was out of town, we moved and now my husband is out of town. It has been crazy over in Pottinger land. But I am finally winding down. So even though they kept me after my salmonella hands incident, I have since been eliminated. It was an amazing journey but I feel blessed to have been given such an opportunity. I said it in my farewell post, but thank you very much everyone for your support and encouragement.
Back to my salad... although it ended up being somewhat of a "fail" on the show, I have received numerous requests for the recipe. But don't worry everyone, I washed my hands! And actually, I didn't even use chicken. I opted for crispy prosciutto this time. It is truthfully a better flavor match in my opinion. But if you're a chicken lover, it would be delicious as well. You know that scene in the Sound of Music where they are all sitting around and singing about their favorite things?
That is pretty much this salad to me. Beets, goat cheese and arugula are up there for me with cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. I looooove them. And I especially love them together! One of the very first blog posts I ever did was a Beet, Goat Cheese and Arugula Panini. You really cannot go wrong with this flavor combination. Unless maybe you try adding Fruit Loops or Cinnamon Toast Crunch to it. But hey, maybe that will turn out to be an odd ball stroke of genius. Probably not... but maybe.
I did do another Messy Life Messy Kitchen for this one, so the video is up on my YouTube channel, which you can of course subscribe to. :) Please and thank you. As such, this blog post will be a little brief, but I am gifting to you the pleasure of watching me ramble for 20 minutes. Exciting huh?
1 package of arugula
1 dry pint baby heirloom tomatoes or 2 regular sized heirloom tomatoes
4 oz package of crumbled goat cheese
2 cups apple cider vinegar (champagne, red wine or other vinegar will do)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp honey
4 oz prosciutto
2 cups (give or take) or cubed bread (such as french bread or sourdough, anything that is hearty really)
For the Beets:
1. Begin by adding the vinegar, salt and sugar to a pot and bring it to a low boil.
2. Peel and thinly slice your beets. You will want them to be roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. I sliced mine into semi circles as well, but you can make them whatever shape you please.
3. Add them to the pickling liquid and allow them to cook for 15-20 minutes.
4. Make sure you keep 1/2- 3/4 cup of the liquid for the salad dressing. You may drain the rest.
For the Dressing:
1. Reduce the pickling liquid down for 5 minutes or so until it gets slightly thicker.
2. Blend garlic, olive oil, pickling liquid, 1/4 cup basil and honey in a food processor and set aside.
1. Crisping prosciutto is really simple. Since it has natural fats, you don't need to add anything to your pan. Simply put the prosciutto in a pan and flip after 3-4 minutes. Cook another 2 minutes or so and set aside. It will stiffen up after it cools.
2. After it has cooled you can cut into into smaller pieces.
Putting it all together:
1. Begin with a bed of arugula
2. Top with pickled beets, cubed bread, crumbled goat cheese and sliced tomatoes.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.