July 7-10 arugula salad with pickled spring onions

July 7     bbq at the Watkinson's cottage
July 8     dinner out in Kingston
July 9     delicious food at a party
July 10   bbq with the stunt department -  arugula salad with pickled spring onion and manchego      

This was  not a week of cooking opportunities for us since we were not home much at all all week and had dinner out every night. I made a flourless chocolate cake with chambord whipped cream and the first local fresh organic raspberries of the seasons to take along to our bbq on Sunday evening but that isn't a dinner item. Well, in some world's it is but it wouldn't really count here, would it?

I saw this recipe for Arugula Salad with Pickled Shallots from the chef at Table 17, one of my favourite neighbourhood restaurants and decided to do a version of that to take along. There is a vendor at the Leslie Market that had beautiful, red, spring onions two weeks ago so I knew if she was back, I was using those instead of shallots and I also knew I wanted candied nuts instead of just toasted nuts. I made lots of other changes but it was a huge inspiration and it was all I could think about from the moment and I read the article until the moment I put the first forkful into my mouth. I have plans for the remainder of the pickled onions and will definitely make them again to have in the fridge and there was tons of salad dressing left over to use all week.

Arugula Salad with Pickled Spring Onions and Manchego
adapted from Arugula Salad with Pickled Shallots from Table 17

5 baby golden beets
3/4 cup plus 3 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp  extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig tarragon
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 small bunch spring onions, sliced thinly (about 6)
1/3 cup each red wine vinegar and water
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fig balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp riesling tarragon dijon mustard
baby arugula
*1/4 cup candied pecans (100g grams pecans pieces, 2tbls sugar, 2 tbls water and pinch of salt)
manchego cheese for serving
salt and pepper

heat oven to 425F
wash the beets and half if they are large. Leave a bit of the stem, toss them with a tsp or two of olive oil, wrap them in tinfoil and roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let them cool enough that you can handle them and run them under cool water to rub the peels off. Trim off the stem and cut into quarters and set aside.

Place tarragon, spring onions and peppercorns in a mason jar.
Bring the red wine vinegar and water to a boil in a small pot and pour over the spring onions. Let cool and then put the lid on the jar and set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat the 3 tsp of canola oil and cook the onion over medium low heat for about 20 minutes, until the onions are softened and starting to brown up a bit. Set aside to cool and then put them in a blender ( or a bullet, which is what I use) with the dijon mustard and the balsamic vinegar and puree. Slowly stream in the canola/olive oil to emulsify and season to taste with salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix the arugula with the beets and add enough dressing to just coat. If you are serving on a platter, spread the arugula and beets out on the platter, top with a sprinkling of the pickled spring onion, the candied pecans  and grate the manchego over the top.

You will have dressing and spring onions left to use another day.
* for candied pecans, put the pecans, sugar, water and a pinch of kosher salt in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes until no longer saucy and the nuts or thickly coated with the candy. Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with either a silpat or parchment paper and set aside to cool completely. Thanks to Suzie the Foodie for  her instructions when I totally drew a blank.


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