Roasted Beet, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta Salata

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It’s the peak of summer harvest here in the Pacific Northwest. Gardens are over-flowing with the bounty. Local farmers markets are saturated with the vivacious tastes, smells, and colors of the season. Co-workers bring in boxes full of produce, letting the bright colors seep into the office, laying out the summer bounty in the break room, making the donuts seem sad and desperate. Neighbors drop off baskets overflowing with greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and purples so deep and rich you can hardly believe it.

Your mind starts to race as you think of all the recipes to be explored. Your heart quickens as you dream of the canning to be done; to capture the tastes to be savored on a cold winter day as you open summer captured in a jar. You start to salivate as you think of sitting down to a meal, oh the cooking to be done! But instead of turning on the stove and tying the apron strings on, you slice a tomato and sprinkle it with salt, taking a bite of it raw. It is perfection on the tongue, so sweet and juicy; it makes you wonder what piece of plastic has been posing as a “tomato” the rest of the year in your grocery store. Yes, it’s time to enjoy the splendor of what the good earth has to offer.

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Caprese Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

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Happy Friday, My Cooking Spot readers!!

I’m super excited to be a new contributor for My Cooking Spot, and I have a delicious recipe to share that’s perfect for a warm summer day.

It requires absolutely no cooking and takes less than 10 minutes and very little culinary ability to whip up.

While I love living in New Orleans – the food, the location, the fun, the list goes on… – the weather can be quite warm {read: hot & humid}. Don’t take this as a complaint though; I love the hot weather! I’d take a 100+ degree heat index any day over anything below 40 in a heart beat.

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Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Mint Dressing

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Fruit salad and summer go hand in hand. Especially in this house. When the temp reaches in the triple digits, and stays there for 3 – 4 months, we want to eat something cool and refreshing.

The mint lime dressing is the perfect accompaniment. It is almost like a fruit mojito. You have to try this dressing. It is so yummy and I can’t get enough of it on any kind of fruit. Not to mention that it is so simple, it is almost a crime not to add this dressing onto your fruit salad.
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Fruit-Salad

I made this salad for a tapas date night, so I used fruits that were tropical and my vibrant. I included pineapple, strawberries, kiwis and watermelon, but you can use any of your favorite fruits for this recipe. I just love the combination of the fruits I chose and I love how vibrant and bright these fruits are. I used a melon baller for the watermelon, but that was mostly just for presentation. It is optional obviously. But I have always loved a good melon baller to make my fruit in little bite size shapes.

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Quinoa Arugula Salad with Beets, Peaches & Walnuts Tossed in a Pinot Noir Vinaigrette

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I just tried quinoa for the first time last year. I don’t know why I was scared of it. So I just avoided it. But last year, I had the opportunity to try it at a luncheon. I loved it! It has such a nice nutty flavor. The flavor was completely unexpected, but I really liked it a lot. I also like that fact that it is a healthy grain and yet gluten-free.

I chose to make a beet salad with quinoa to make it hearty and beets are in season right now. Once you roast them, they are some tasty treats. I thought that a red wine vinaigrette was the perfect accompaniment to the beets.

I made this delicious salad for my Farm-to-Table Potluck. You can see all the recipes from that event here. 

Arugula-Peaches-Beets Salad

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Beets Peaches & Walnuts Tossed in a Pinot Noir Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups washed arugula
  • 2 medium beets (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Pinot Noir Vinaigrette
  • 3/4 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

    Salad
  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
  2. Scrub beets, wrap in tinfoil and roast at 375 degrees until easily pierced with a fork for about 45 minutes.
  3. Once beets are cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Peel off skins and chop into 1? pieces.
  4. In a bowl add the quinoa, arugula, peaches, beets and walnuts. Add beets at the last minute or after you have tossed in vinaigrette or you will have a pink salad, unless that is what you are going for!
  5. Vinaigrette
  6. In a bowl whisk wine and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste
http://mycookingspot.com/quinoa-arugula-salad-with-beets-peaches-walnuts-tossed-in-a-pinot-noir-vinaigrette/

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