Sometimes the elements converge to create perfection – a perfect moment, perfect song, a perfect happening. We experienced one such occasion last week at a movies-in-the-park screening of Prince’s 1984 modern classic, Purple Rain.
Scheduled far in advance of the singer’s untimely demise earlier this year, this event turned into a tribute and celebration of Prince’s unique artistry, bringing an estimated 20,000+ fans to the Pritzker Pavilion for a soul-stirring evening that became so much more than a movie.
But first I want to share more about the powerful energy of that evening. The crowd was stoked, jazzed, psyched, and on fire. Man, it was contagious!
From the movie’s first frame well past the final credits, we were singing, screaming, swaying, swooning, and waving our purple glow sticks in the air like we just don’t care. The vibe was that of a live rock concert, a hot sweaty night club, an intimate lovers rendezvous, and church all rolled up into one massive feel-good experience. Although we lost a masterful musician and true innovator when Prince left us in April, his gifts can and do still raise us up to the loftiest heights. Thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson.
Imminently adaptable, this salad hardly needs a recipe (but I’ll give it a try, below). Greens of your choice form the base; baby spinach is traditional. Slow-roasted beets sliced on top. Creamy goat cheese crumbled on top of that, and a sprinkling of toasted nuts. Do not dress the salad in advance but serve a vinaigrette of your choice on the side. (My favorite homemade version is this one from Thomas Keller’s recipe.) Over time the beets will tint the goat cheese a lovely shade of magenta, but don’t worry, it will still taste fantastic.
Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
|Printable Recipe- Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios|
|File Size:||499 kb|
Recipe source: Ann Johnson
- 4 medium-sized beets, scrubbed well, greens removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6-8 cups lettuce greens of your choice (spinach, romaine, arugula, or a mix), washed and dried, torn into medium-sized pieces if necessary
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled into large chunks
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, roasted and salted
- ¼ - ½ cup Vinaigrette style salad dressing of your choice – to drizzle on top and serve alongside
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place 2 beets (approximately the same size) on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the beets. Seal up the packet by crimping the top and side edges together. Make another packet with the 2 remaining beets.
- Set packets on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 45-60 minutes.
- Starting at 45 minutes, check for doneness by carefully opening a packet to test the beets with a sharp knife. If the knife easily pierces through the beet, it’s done. If there’s some resistance, re-seal the packet and continue cooking at 5 minute increments until all beets are tender.
- Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and open the foil packets. Let the beets cool until they’re able to be handled. Peel the beets. The skin should peel right off, but use a paring knife if needed. NOTE: I use kitchen gloves.
- Cut the beets into wedges or medium-sized chunks and refrigerate until time to assemble the salad.
- Assemble the Salad: Arrange the lettuce leaves on the serving platter (or large Tupperware container)
- Place the beet wedges/chunks on top of the greens.
- Top the beets with the crumbled goat cheese.
- Sprinkle the pistachios (or other nuts) on top.
- Right before serving, drizzle a few tablespoons of vinaigrette over the salad. Serve the rest of the vinaigrette on the side.