This is a smart blonde salad. Root vegetables amounting to golden beets and sweet potatoes are roasted in spiced honey and olive oil. Golden raisins are macerated in blonde vermouth, and our chewy and nutty flavored Beulah Land Tan or Medley whole grain rice is cooked in ginger ale and turmeric. Together with Mississippi pecans, all are blended with a white balsamic and honey vinaigrette for a beta carotene, fibrous, non glutinous, vegan (sans goat cheese) fix brimming with health benefits and flavor.
2 medium golden beets, peeled and chopped in ½ inch pieces (save de-ribbed and finely chopped beet tops for salad)
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in ½ inch pieces
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
½ tsp ground turmeric, divided
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup Dolin Blanc Vermouth (or similar, or if non-alcoholic desired, use high quality ginger ale)
¾ cup Mississippi Blue Beulah Land Tan or Medley Rice (can use Missimati Bayou Bouquet Fragrant Brown Rice)
12 ounce high quality ginger ale (Reeds is splendid, Canada Dry fine)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup salted pecans, chopped
1½ tbsp white balsamic vinegar
Crumbled goat cheese for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
In medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add rice. Swirl in pan to coat kernels. Add ¼ tsp turmeric and ginger ale. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover with tight fitting lid, and cook for 50 minutes (cooking rice in the ginger ale will take longer due to the sugars present in ale). Check for doneness, cooking to al dente (slightly chewy). If so, remove lid, stir with fork, and cook off any liquids until evaporated. Set aside to cool.
In small bowl, make vegetable baste by blending well the ¼ cup olive oil, honey, ¼ tsp turmeric, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Place beets and sweet potato in large mixing bowl and pour all but 2 tbsp of olive oil/honey baste over the root vegetables; mix to coat (the balance of olive oil/honey baste will be used in vinaigrette). Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until all are occasionally browned and cooked al dente; remove to cool before overcooked.
Place golden raisins and vermouth in microwaveable cup, and microwave for 1 minute. Set aside to cool. When cool, drain raisins and retain vermouth (should be about 3 tablespoons).
In small sauté pan, add 1½ tablespoon of retained vermouth and 1½ packed cups of chopped beet tops. Sauté until tops wilted and dark green.
Make the vinaigrette; mix 2 tablespoons of saved olive oil/honey baste, white balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of retained vermouth very well for use in next step (1/2 tbsp vermouth remains—make martini with salty olive to offset sweet vermouth)
Add to large mixing bowl the roasted root vegetables, pecans, wilted beet tops, cooked rice, and the prepared vinaigrette. Blend together well. If desired, garnish with crumbled goat cheese. Best served slightly warm, or quite fine chilled. Enjoy!