Halloween: Tail of Rat and Forest Weed Salad
Ah Autumn. The apples, the harvest, sweaters. It’s just the best. Halloween has always been an integral part of this Autumnal joy – costume planning and creation along with the delicious spoils of trick or treating. As an adult I’ve had to find other avenues to explore for indulging in my love affair with Halloween. The answer is recipes. I find such joy and fulfillment in creating odd and creepy but delicious food. So this year, we offer you a tried and true “Hare-raising” Halloween favorite: Tail of Rat and Forest Weed Salad. It’s a very loose guideline, easily customizable. Enjoy!
~ The Hare
Tail of Rat and Forest Weed Salad
with rat droppings, amber encased bugs and rotten milk (if you want to really go there… )
Mixed greens (I like the Zen blend or Power greens because of the lovely odd leaves and purples)
Small beets, look for ones with nice fat root tails
Dried blueberries or currants
Red pepper flakes
Balsamic glaze (or vinaigrette)
To make the brittle:
In a saute pan slowly heat about 1 cup of sugar until it just liquifies and begins to caramelize. Toss in a bit of salt, red pepper flakes and about 3/4 cups pumpkin seeds. Continue to caramelize until it’s a lovely maple syrupy color. Pour onto a foil lined pan and quickly spread with a spatula. Cool and once fully cool break into shards.
To make beets:
Gently wash beets being careful to keep little root tails intact. Bake unpeeled beets at 400 degrees in a foil wrapped pan for 40 minutes or more until tender. I always add about 1/2″ water and a drizzle of oil. Once just cool enough to handle use a paper towel or kitchen towel that you don’t mind staining, to very carefully rub off beet skins. The tails will be so delicate now so be very careful not to break them!
Gently toss the skinned warm beets with salt, pepper, and a good portion of balsamic glaze. Let cool completely. You can make this ahead. There should be a nice bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl. This will be your dressing! Taste and see if you need to add more vinegar (sometimes I add a bit of apple cider vinegar to really bring up the tartness), a bit of honey, or salt and pepper.
Assemble your salads! Bed of greens, crumbles of cheese, scatterings of dried blueberries, and lovely amber shards. Top with beets and a generous drizzle of balsamic dressing.
Serve with forks and knives so you can massacre your poor little rats!
Bon appétit and a safe and eery Halloween from us to you!