Fennel, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fennel, Beets and Arugula are all in season springtime vegetables.  We made this salad along with some pan seared chicken breasts on a bed of wilted dandelion greens ( also in season)- obviously we are highlighting the salad because it was the star of our meal- dandelion greens, not so much ( very bitter, we welcome any suggestions to try them again, until that happens we won’t be getting them… ).  Back to our Fennel, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad; we tossed it in a homemade dressing that had finely chopped chives and shallots, which balanced well with the variety of bold flavored veggies- fennel holds it’s crunchy bite and sweet anise flavor offset by the peppery arugula, and back to the sweet roasted beets with tangy goat cheese to top it all off…  A mouthful of flavors, this is no boring salad!

2 medium beets (red or gold), washed, tops removed, and cut in half
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced chives
1 diced shallot
1-2  fennel bulbs, top trimmed
6 cups baby arugula
2 oz goat cheese, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place beets in a small baking dish. Add 11/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until beets are tender. Let beets cool, peel off skin, and cut into bite-size wedges.
3. Whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, chives, and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Add 11/2 tablespoons of dressing to beets and toss to coat.
4. Cut fennel bulb in half and remove core. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice fennel and transfer to a large bowl. Add arugula and gently toss to mix. Add remaining dressing and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Heap a mound of fennel-arugula salad in center of each plate. Scatter beets around fennel mixture and goat cheese and serve.


Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Acorn Squash with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

In search of a light and easy dinner after a long weekend away from home this meal turned in to a surprisingly beautiful plate of food.  The acorn squash tastes really exotic and refreshed with the blend of spices, the tart bite of sundried tomatoes along with the crisp peppery arugula salad and crumbled tangy feta cheese was a really unique combination that works!  To make this more of a meal we added roasted prosciutto wrapped asparagus with a drizzle of fig preserves…. This recipe is proven to be made quickly and painlessly ( we were exhausted!), just allow the 45-60 minutes for the squash to cook.  Prep the asparagus after the squash are in the oven, then when you take them out, crank the oven to 400 degrees and put in the asparagus to cook for 8 minutes. 

Serves 4
3 pounds acorn squash
2 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon oregano, ground
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 cups arugula
3 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To prepare the acorn squash, pull off the hard stem so it can sit on a flat surface. Then you will cut the end off horizontilly so it has a lid (this will need to be about 2″ down from the opposite end of the stem removal) Scrape out all the seeds, discard. Place the squash in a pan lined with foil.

Next rub the inside walls with about 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Combine all the spices together, and equally distribute between the squash. rubbing most into the walls. Then sprinkle in the chopped sundried tomatoes, give it a stir to combine the spices with them. Place the lids on each squash and place in the oven. Backe at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes untill the squash is soft.

Remove from the oven and prepare arugula. Toss the leaves with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Plate each of the squash, lid to the side, sprinkle in the feta and top with arugula. Serve warm

•Low in cholesterol•High in calcium•High in dietary fiber•High in manganese
•High in magnesium•High in potassium•High in thiamin
•Very high in vitamin A•High in vitamin B6•Very high in vitamin C

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus:

1 lb asparagus, washed and trimmed
6 slices Prosciutto
1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon
2 tablespoons Fig jam or preserves, heated to drizzle consistancy

Slice the Prosciutto into thin strips.  Wrap a small strip around each of the stems of asparagus.  Drizzle oil and lemon, season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.  Serve with a drizzle of hot fig jam on top.

Asparagus for Breakfast- yes that is what we said


1 pound trimmed and washed asparagus, pat dry
1 teaspoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh grated Nutmeg
4 eggs, over easy or sunny side up
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet, jelly roll pan is the best, with aluminum foil. Place the asparagus in the same direction on a single layer, drizzle the olive oil over them to coat and then sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5 minutes. Then toss them to their other side with tongs. If the tops are getting browned, just fold the foil over the top part. Continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until desired doneness. We like them a little firm still, so 3 minutes more does the trick. Remove from the oven and grate the nutmeg and lemon zest over the hot spears. Serve with eggs over easy or sunny side up, and some whole wheat Italian toast!