Chill Out: Refreshing Soup & Salad Days

July 17th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze Dressing – Click Here for Recipe Post

Ninety Five Degrees! That’s hot for anywhere, but it’s particularly hot for Vermont. We don’t see many 90+ days here in the Green Mountains. Yes, it looks like this will definitely be a long, hot summer. And although I don’t mind the heat, I am hoping for a break from the sun. We need a few days of soaking rain across North America to ease the pain of drought.

Fortunately, I’ll be spending most of this week working on garden design drawings and consultation notes from the comfort of my Secret Garden Room. That means lunches at home, with fresh produce from the garden. Plentiful herbs add pizazz to even the simplest of salads —click here for a great, garden-fresh herb vinaigrette for greens— and early, sun-gold tomatoes make fantastic Golden Days of Summer Gazpacho. I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, but until I have time to post more, I thought I’d share some favorites from the archive (click on any photo or caption and follow the recipe link). You can find more garden-fresh recipes on the “Potager and Recipes” page at left sidebar, in the “Recipe Archive” link in the right sidebar —there’s also a Cocktail Recipe link for the twilight hours— and find even more by scrolling down the main page here. Last night I enjoyed fresh, roasted beet salad and over the weekend, I made a large bowl of my Tante Maria’s famous gurkensalat (well, famous in my family, anyway).

Vinaigrette with Garden-Fresh Herbs – Song of Summertime Salad – Click Here

In summertime, I often have soup or salad, perhaps with a sandwich and Lemon-Mint Sun Tea, for lunch. And when it’s hot outside, sometimes a big salad will be my main evening meal. How about you? Do you chill out with cold meals in the dog days of summer? What are some of your favorites?

Tante Maria’s Gurkensalat (German Cucumber Salad) – Click Here for Recipe Post

Golden Days of Summer Gazpacho – Click Here for Recipe Post

Chilled Haricot Vert Salad with Garden-Fresh Herb Vinaigrette & Feta – Click Here for Recipe Post

Photographs and Text â“’ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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A Prelude to Autumn in Red & Gold: Roasted Beet and Fresh Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze…

September 19th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Roasted Red and Gold Beets with Fresh Arugula, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar Glaze…

As I look out past the terrace this evening — down into the Green River Valley— bright orange, gold, rust and red flashes pepper the the nearby hillside and mountains beyond. There’s no denying it now… All of nature’s signs point toward autumn. But for tonight at least, fair weather reigns supreme. The air is still warm, and the French doors stand wide open; welcoming a gentle southern breeze. It’s September 19th, and though it seems hard to believe — watching the sun as it sets, flickering across the white birch trees, luminous against low, grey clouds — I know that another summer is drawing to a close.

All along the meadow, the flame grass (Miscanthus purpurascens) has begun to glow; striking a fashionable pose beside the fiery-red viburnum (V. plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’) and the blue shadow of distant mountains to the north. Even the potager has become a virtual kaleidoscope of color these days; rich with purple and gold tinted beets, brilliant red peppers, bright-orange pumpkins and wildly-striped winter squash. Harvest season is upon us. It’s time for apple cider, oven-roasted vegetables, and smores by the fire…

The Northwestern Meadow Begins a Seasonal Shift

Dan Snow’s Fire Sculpture in the Central Garden at Ferncliff

Sunflowers Along the Potager Fence

On tonight’s menu: oven-roasted red and gold beets. Delightfully sweet and pretty as gemstones, I like them served warm; artfully arranged atop a salad of arugula, with a sprinkling of goat cheese and a bit of reduced, balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. This beautiful and delicious salad is based on a recipe from a favorite local restaurant —sadly closed since this post was first published— where I once enjoyed meeting up with friends for a glass of wine and tapas. And speaking of libations, I think my friend Jonathan —cocktail-wizard supreme— would agree that a nice, dry prosecco is the perfect compliment to this warm and wonderful, harvest-season salad. Enjoy!

A Prelude to Autumn…

Roast Beet and Fresh Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side dish):

3      Large red beets

3      Large golden beets

8     Ounces crumbled goat cheese +/- (or if using sliced goat cheese, as served at Alici’s, use 12 oz round)

3      Cups washed, small, tender leaves of arugula (you may substitute mesclun or any baby greens)

3      Teaspoons champagne vinegar

3      Teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3      Teaspoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2     Tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze (reduced balsamic vinegar)*


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Set in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Roast for one hour.

In meantime, whisk together the champagne vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss together with the arugula and arrange on a serving platter. Set aside.

After one hour, remove the beets from oven and check with a fork for doneness. If tender when prodded with a fork, allow beets to cool in the pan atop the stove, still covered with the foil, for 15-20 minutes. Open the the foil and cool for a five more minutes, then peel and slice the beets into 1/4 inch rounds. Arrange beets on the platter, atop the arugula. Crumble goat cheese on top of the beets and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve warm with a chilled, dry prosecco.

*Balsamic glaze can be purchased in finer grocery stores, or make your own by reducing balsamic vinegar yourself. Pour 2 cups of balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the liquid thickens to the consistency of molasses ( 1/5 the original volume), remove from the heat to cool. This glaze is delicious over roasted beets, salads, breads and many other foods.

The Twilight of Late Summer

Article and photographs â“’ 2010 Michaela at TGE

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