The rainy season is here! Bright green grass now covers the ground. The grapevines are rapidly losing their leaves. A fire in the wood burning stove is now a nightly necessity and we have swapped our summer clothes for winter ones. This is my favorite time of year. Around here we get rain that falls all night and day without stopping. If you live in your own rainy area you may not think much of this, but Tom and I are from the desert. The last time we lived there a quarter inch (that’s .25in) of rain fell THE ENTIRE YEAR! When it rained really hard our high school teachers would let us out of class early to go play in it since it was such a rarity and school was cancelled if more then a quarter inch fell at one time. Tom and I adore the rainy weather up here and turn giddy anytime the weather guy forecasts a big rainstorm. This weekend we are expecting a little more then an inch. We both plan to be sitting by the fire with mugs of coffee and bowls of chicken soup while playing games and listening to the rain fall. Sounds like a wonderful evening to me!
So last week I mentioned that I had a fabulous salad at my friend’s house. It was the first time I ever had raw beets before. I didn’t even know it was okay to eat raw beets, but you can and they are delicious. Very similar to raw carrots. Beets are one of those veggies that I have very little experience eating. Growing up no one in my family cooked with them and as an adult Tom corrupted me with stories of how his father made him eat canned beets several nights a week for years. He always hated them and still won’t give them another shot. I honestly wouldn’t eat any vegetable that came from a can either so I never gave beets a shot until last year. I was with a friend at my favorite restaurant in Sebastopol called Hole in the Wall (If you are ever up here its well worth a visit). I was in the mood to try something new so I ordered a beet salad which was basically boiled golden and red beats served cold on a bed of greens with some blue cheese (I think it was blue cheese). It was really good and I learned that, just like broccoli, beets were actually pretty good if prepared correctly!
Green Salad with Beets & Carrots
Serves 1 for lunch or 2 as a salad with dinner
- 2 handfuls of baby lettuce
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 5 smaller beet leaves with ribs removed and torn into small pieces
- 1 small red beet, shredded raw
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 1/2 an avocado, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Rinse and dry the lettuce, spinach and beet leaves. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently toss with your favorite dressing. Enjoy!