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.
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.