Baby Beet & Carrot Salad with Herbed Crème Fraîche Dressing

This beautiful salad utilizes both the bright baby beets and tender greens.

2 green onions, minced
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
½ cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons minced dill
2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 pound baby beets with greens (about 1-inch thick)
1 pound slender young carrots with greens (about 1/2-inch thick)1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. For the dressing: Whisk to combine green onion, garlic, and lemon zest and juice, onion and garlic powder, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside to marinate for a few minutes. Fold in the crème fraîche, followed by the fresh herbs. Taste and add sea salt as needed. Cover and set in fridge to chill. Just before serving, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin dressing as needed.

2. Preheat oven to 425°. Trim all but ¼-inch of beet and carrot greens (reserve beet greens), and thoroughly scrub vegetables. Set unpeeled beets in a small, 2-inch-deep baking pan. Add ½ inch of cold water and cover tightly with foil. Slide into oven and roast until beets are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover beets, drain hot water, and set beets aside until cool enough to handle. Slice off beet tops and remove skin under cold running water, either with fingertips or a peeler. (Skin will come off very easily.) Quarter beets and sprinkle with sea salt.

3. Halve carrots and cut on the bias into 4-inch spears. Toss with olive oil and a pinch each sea salt and pepper. Scatter on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into oven to roast alongside beets 10 to 15 minutes, or until carrots just begin to curl up and the edges turn golden.

4. While vegetables cook, rinse and dry beet greens, and arrange leaves on a serving platter. Tuck beets and carrots into the greens. Spoon on the dressing, and finish with a few twists of pepper and minced parsley. Serve immediately.

Matsutake Mushroom Stir-Fry with Black Rice

Topped with quail egg and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, this delicious recipe comes courtesy of Wei Kitchen.

1 cup Venere black rice
1 pint Matsutake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into quarters
1 bunch green onion, diced, with white and green parts separated
2-4 tablespoons shallot oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups F&L chicken stock
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Pickled or soft-boiled quail eggs (see recipe and method)
Toasted black sesame seeds

1. Pour shallot oil into a large, hot sauté pan on high heat. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add in the white pieces of green onion, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Mix well and distribute mixture evenly across bottom of pan.

2. Carefully spoon rice evenly over your layer of vegetables Pour chicken stock into pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover, turn heat down to low and let simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is completely cooked and all stock has been absorbed by the rice. (Check the rice after 15 minutes to make sure bottom of rice is not burning and to mix evenly.)

3. Add the remaining green onion (diced green stalks) and mix well. Top each serving with your choice of pickled, or soft-boiled quail egg and a generous sprinkling of toasted black sesame seeds. If desired, drizzle lightly with Wei Kitchen shallot oil.

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summery salads

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