Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank Goodness for My Day Job!

I would describe myself as a fairly typical girl. I like to look pretty, I like to be social, I like typical girly things like flowers and manicures and dressing up, and naturally I love to shop. Before I knew how to cook, or at least cook like I do now, shopping for me consisted of Marc Jacobs, Botkier, Alice+Olivia, etc. I'd stop off at Bloomingdale's or Bergdorf's on a weekly basis and it didn't help that both were directly on my way home. But now that I have a closet full of clothes, shoes, accessories, etc, I've turned my shopaholic eye to food. And shopping now consists of splurging on terribly expensive mushrooms, creamy Burrata and other exotic cheese, and yes, ridiculously priced balsamic vinegar. Like the bottle I bought last night.
So little and innocent looking, this bottle is. And I'm definitely not telling you how much it cost.
If you have the ability to do it... buy the best bottle. Don't be afraid to ask, or as I did, pick up each bottle of balsamic and shake it a little... gently... to see what the consistency was. It should be like a syrup. And when I picked this tiny one up, it had the consistency of molasses. Once home, I roasted some beets and topped them with baby greens, an Italian cheese called Gouda Parrano and my pretentious little petite toasts and then just drizzled the balsamic-which has truffle in it by the way, a fact that may have contributed to the cost- in tiny droplets over and voila... dinner. Delicious. The balsamic was sweet, syrupy, and filled with that all encompassing truffle scent, a perfect combination with the warm, sweet beets, the light greens and the slightly sharp, caramel quality in the cheese. It was very, very worth it.
Look how thick the balsamic is... it just rests on top of the toast.
Roasted Beet Salad
1 lb. beets- roasted and peeled
2 c. baby greens- spinach, arugula, etc
1 Tbl. shaved cheese
croutons, spiced nuts, something to provide crunch
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar- seriously go for the best, which doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive bottle
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients except the balsamic in a bowl. Plate and drizzle the vinegar over.

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