Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

05
February
2009

Purple Reigns & Cider Rules

We’re talking winter beets and apple cider.  Mid-winter Farmers’ Market fare is sparse, reduced to the hardiest of the hardy, and beets, straight from mother earth, might be the king of the mountain.

Nature’s poetic justice rather than happenstance that we have these available during the darkest months – they’re probably just what our cells need.  Though early signals of spring are evident, at the moment we have cabbage, beets, and apples’ sweet nectar.  Together they make beautiful music. Reduce the juice, roast the beets, cut the cabbage and you have the components for this wonderful pile of salad.

After food, the highlight of any Farmer’s Market are conversations, however brief, with neighbors and farmers.  The folks from RockRidge Orchards had time to chat last week and passed on a delicious idea:  reduce their apple cider to a syrup and use that as a base to dress, for example, beets.  Sounded good to me.  I added apple cider vinegar to the reduction and ended up with something like a balsamic vinegar with Pacific Northwest character.  When mixed lavishly with roasted beets and thinly sliced cabbage or steamed kale, a sprinkling of blue or goat cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, well, it might win an Oscar for best dressed winter gown, err, winter greens.

Apple Cider Vinegar Syrup Recipe

Ingredients & directions: Combine 1 cup apple cider and 1 cup cider vinegar in a saucepan, a ratio of approximately 1:1. Want it sweeter? Add more cider than vinegar.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced to about ¾ cup.  It thickens as it cools – add a smashed garlic and olive oil, chopped fresh herbs.  Or use the syrup as is, which is what I did with these beets.  Either way, it’s something like a balsamic and could be the base for culinary experimentation.

Skip the vinegar, reduce the cider and it’s a syrup for ice cream, hotcakes or waffles, oatmeal. All ingredients are available at Farmer’s Market now: cabbage, beets, cider and cheese. in my case, cider and cider vinegar from RockRidge Orchards, cabbage from Whistling Train Farm, beets from Full Circle Farm.

By the way.  Dang, I almost forgot. Today, February 5th, is the first anniversary of our writing- photographing-blogging adventure.  Poppy, it has been, it is a wonderful trip.  Blogging tech has its, shall we say, idiosyncrasies.  A year ago we were tearing a little bit of hair out getting the hang of it, today not so much.  We have a ways to go, but I pat us on the back.

Happy Anniversary MixedGreens.


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7 Responses »

  1. Perfect time for this post – beets are on the menu from storage tonight, and I was looking for a way to use them, as they are not a fav. With this recipe and the cider, I am getting excited about trying it!

  2. Happy Birthday to us and a big hug to my blogging buddy, Sally and many thanks to our readers and the growing MixedGreens community.

  3. I also live in the Puget Sound area. So your posts are of particular interest to me. You seem to have a wide and interesting approach. Congratulations on you first year.

  4. Happy birthday! Great way to celebrate too, with reduced cider over beets. Look forward to many more great posts from both of you.

  5. Happy Blogoversary, Mixed Greens! I so enjoy this blog, and look forward to reading it every day. I have used several of your recipes, each and every one has been just wonderful. When I go to the U District Farmers Market, I wonder if the Mixed Greens folks are here? I am doing my best to eat locally, and I am making improvements all the time. Thank you, thank you.

  6. Happy First Birthday Mom and Poppy! Dinner together sounds like a very fitting way to celebrate, I can’t wait to hear about it.
    Cheers and Congrats on your wonderful collaboration!

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