Arugula and Beet Salad

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At a golf event, recently, I picked up a Stella Artois prize pack that contained four Stella glasses, two cans of the Belgian libation and a Stella Artois cookbook entitled “Cuisine à la bière.” It contains recipes for appetizers, mains and desserts, all made with Stella. Recipes that look good to me include tomato, basil and arugula salad; pork satays with Stella peanut sauce; chicken braised in Stella; lobster steamed in Stella; and Stella Artois apple crepes.

To date, I’ve made an arugula and beet salad based on the Stella recipe. The dressing is made with beer and it’s delicious. I’m giving you the recipe this week. I plan on trying the chicken braised in Stella and the Stella apple crepes soon. Watch for these recipes in future columns.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Arugula and Beet Salad

When you make this salad, be sure to use baby arugula, also known as rocket, roquette, rucola, and rugula. I got the idea for the beets in this salad at the Charcut restaurant, in Calgary, last fall.

Ingredients:

2 to 3 handfuls of arugula

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved, or one or two ripe roma tomatoes sliced

8 to 12 quarters cooked beets (see recipe below)

6 basil leaves, torn

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp Stella Artois

Method:

Combine arugula, tomatoes, beets and basil in a large bowl.

Pour olive oil, vinegar and Stella into a small container. Add salt and pepper to taste. Give the dressing a good whisk; then pour over salad ingredients and toss well. Portion out and serve on salad plates.

Beets

You can buy a bunch of red beets from the grocery store or you can look for some tender, small ones at one of our local farmers’ markets, which I did recently. If you’re lucky, you’ll find golden beets, which are a nice change from the red.

If you get your beets at a market, they’ll probably come with the greens, which you should cut off, rinse and cook in a separate pot. At our house, we usually dress the cooked greens with butter and vinegar, salt and pepper, and serve as a side dish.

To cook beets, place trimmed and washed beets in a large sauce pot with enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil.

Crack lid and reduce heat to a medium boil. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes depending on size. Beets are fully cooked when they can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Let beets cool; then peel the skins by rubbing gently with paper towels. Use a paring knife to remove any stubborn skin spots and to cut off the stem and root end.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cut beets into quarters and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, a tablespoon or two, to coat, and then add a tablespoon of maple syrup and a little salt and pepper. Stir well to combine, and pour into a small roasting pan. Place in pre-heated oven and roast for about 20 minutes.

Let beets cool to use in salad recipe above, or serve warm as a side dish on their own.

Did you know? A connoisseur of wine is called an oenologue, while a connoisseur of beer is called a zythologist, zythos being the Greek word for beer.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Geographic location: Calgary

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