Feta, Roasted Beets, Raisins and Seeds in “My Favourite Things” Salad

May 11, 2011 at 11:08 am Leave a comment

As usual, our Mother’s Day brunch this year was at my mom’s house. In our signature control-freak kind of way, the women in our family take responsibility for our own Mother’s Day brunch. This year we each brought something so it really didn’t amount to too much work.

We had planned to hire a helper for a few hours to do clean-up, but we didn’t have any luck finding anyone. So, in the end, the clean-up mostly fell to my mom as she consistently refused our offers to help. She almost had to push my mother-in-law out of the kitchen she was so persistent. But my mom has her systems and she finds it more relaxing if she can do it on her own in her own way. If it was at my place, I think I would prefer that too… but instead I don’t have people over (much less work :)).

The brunch worked out really well. In attendance were (in order of appearance):

  • My mom and dad (Nana and Grandpa)
  • My mother-in-law (Nanny Maddy)
  • My grandmothers (Nanny Antoinette and Nanny Marion)
  • My parents’ friends (P and B)
  • Us (Liisa, Derek, Lil D & Lil C)
  • My aunt and uncle (B and P)
  • My teenage cousins who are sometimes babysitters (N and A)

Lil C and Lil D played Junior Monopoly for two hours with various adults rotating in and out while the rest of the adults chatted and ate. The great grandmothers enjoyed their food while struggling to hear the conversations going on around them.

The hearing aid situation really drives me bonkers. Could someone please invent a hearing aid that works? It’s not only sad for the elderly person who can’t take part in the conversations, it’s really frustrating for those of us who have to repeat ourselves three to four times.

I was literally shouting at my Nanny M. a few times. And then, my other grandmother started talking to my aunt at a volume that she perceived as very low. She was talking about some other people in the room. From across the room, I had to tell my aunt to tell my grandmother that I could hear what she was saying (and therefore, soon the others would too).

Tiny frustrations aside, we had a great time and a delicious brunch.

The Menu

To drink

Mimosas, sparkling water, and coffee (Grandpa)

To eat

Smoked Trout (Nana)

Caprese Salad with big slices of buffalo mozzarella (Aunt B)

“My Favourite Things” Salad (Me with Nana’s dressing) – salad recipe below

Quiches with Scratch Crust – Red Pepper and Broccoli (Nanny A)

Thinly-Sliced Cold Roast Beef (Nana)

Bagels, Rolls, Cheeses, Raw Veggies, Olives, Fancy Horesradish Mustard (Nana)

Carrot Cake Loaf (Me)

Coffee Cake (Nanny Maddy)

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – P (failure to communicate caused the duplication, but you can’t really have too much carrot cake!)

Brownies (Nana – using Nanny Marion’s recipe)

Mixed Berries (Nana)

The salad I made was inspired by a post I read about an author’s favourite restaurant salad.  She listed the ingredients without noting whether this was an exhaustive list, so I really just concocted this salad using her description as inspiration. I added and I subtracted and really, I just guessed.

My creation is delish and nutritious. It contains all my favourite salad ingredients (except blue cheese and candied pecans).

The base: Organic Baby Spinach AND/OR small bite-size bits of romaine lettuce

The crunch: 2-3 celery stalks, thinly chopped

The firm bite: roasted heirloom beets from the local market (4 small, roasted in olive oil and sea salt in foil packets for 35 minutes at 375F)

The salty protein bite: diced greek feta cheese (1 container, diced)

The sweet chew: raisins (1/2 cup)

The nuttiness: pumpkin and sunflower seeds (1/3 cup each)

The dressing: My mom made a traditional vinaigrette with lemon juice instead of vinegar. I added a little red wine vinegar over the salad because I felt it needed that acidic taste. Next time I will make it with a balsamic vinaigrette. I like the super sour dressing with the sweet and salty ingredients.

Monday evening, I recreated a facsimile of the salad as a side dish for dinner. I didn’t have any feta but felt like I could leave it out since it was a side salad. I subbed apple for beets and romaine for the baby spinach. I added some coarse sea salt since both the feta and the beets had been salty.

Sliced Granny Smith apple worked well as substitute for the roasted beets, though I missed the deep yellow and red of the beets

Do you see the brown edges on the lettuce? I pretended I didn't.

Despite the brown edges, Derek and I fought over the last bit in the bowl. I can’t wait to make it again with feta, beets and spinach.

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Entry filed under: General Ramblings On, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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