- 3 medium beets
- 3 Portobello mushroom caps
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3½ oz. mozzarella cheese (optional)
- 10 oz. baby spinach
- ¼ cup picked parsley leaves
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts
- 2 green onions (scallions), white part only
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the beets and place on a large sheet of foil, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and fold the sides up to make a sealed pouch.
- Wipe off the mushroom caps, place them on another large sheet of foil, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and fold the sides up to make a sealed pouch.
- Place both pouches in the oven. Bake the mushrooms for approximately 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Bake the beets for approximately 45 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the vinegar, mustard and olive oil and set aside.
- When the beets and mushrooms are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Slice the mushrooms into strips. With a knife, remove the tops of the beets, slide the skins off with your hands. Slice the beets and toss with the warm mushrooms and cheese, cover with foil so they stay warm until you serve them.
- Slice scallion into thin rounds and toss in a salad bowl together with the spinach, walnuts, parsley, and dressing.
- Divide the salad among 4 plates and top with the beet and mushroom mixture.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.
- Portobello mushrooms should be checked in the following manner:
- Remove stem from mushroom cap.
- Examine the detached stem for any sign of worms.
- Taking hold of the mushroom cap, scoop out the entire brown fan-like under-part of mushroom.
- Wash thoroughly.
INFESTATION: Green onions, also referred to as scallions, have a white base that develops into a bulb. Its long, straight green shoots branch forth from the bulb. Light green or brown thrips may occasionally be found between the green branches where they protrude from the bulb. Less frequently, they can be found on the outside or inside of the long green shoots.
- A vertical cut should be made from the top of the scallion’s green shoot to the bottom of the bulb. Examine three scallions from each bunch, paying careful attention to the area between the branches that protrude from the bulb.
- If no insects are found, wash thoroughly under a heavy stream of water or power hose and use.
- If insects are found in a scallion, scallion must be discarded.
SPINACH & ARUGULA:
Please note: Only flat leaf spinach is recommended because its flat surface lends itself to efficient washing. Curly leaf spinach is difficult to clean and check. It is therefore not recommended.
INFESTATION: Spinach and arugula tend to be highly infested throughout the year. Light green thrips are often found in the small curls of the leaves. Occasionally, worms may be found in burrows within the body of the leaf. Look for a narrow (1/8_) translucent burrow speckled with black dots breaking up the deep green color of the leaf. These burrows will often trap the worm within the leaf. To rid the leaf of these worms, carefully slit the bumpy part within the burrow with a sharp knife and remove the worm.
- Soak leaves in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Separate the spinach leaves and agitate them in the soapy solution.
- Using a heavy stream of water or a power hose, remove all foreign matter and soap from the leaf surface. Alternatively, a vegetable brush may be used on both sides of the leaf.
- Several leaves should be checked over a light box or under strong overhead light to verify that the washing procedure has been effective. Both sides of the leaf must be checked.
- If it is practical, it is best to check each leaf.