Labor Day is a distant memory, the farmers’ markets have dwindled in number and the sun now sets around four hours earlier than it did in June. There is no escaping the fact that summer is over, and the shift in seasons is just as easy to see in the produce we display on our shelves as it is in the prepared dishes we feature in the shop. This time of year brings about the starchy squashes, hearty greens and root vegetables the doctor says we can never get enough of!
Last fall, I was introduced to a product at Formaggio Kitchen that makes preparing all these veggies a cinch. Boiled cider, a concentrated apple cider vinegar syrup made by Willis Wood in Springfield, VT, is the perfect addition to dressings, soups, roasted vegetable dishes and anything that could benefit from a little extra depth. A much more affordable option than saba, it is a sweet, tangy, amber syrup that goes a long way. I was so impressed by it that when my family came to visit for the holidays last year, it was the one product I told my parents they needed to take back to Hawaii.
Boiled Cider Dressing
Use as a dressing on mixed greens, cabbage, raw kale and Swiss chard, barley and dried fruits, roasted squash and rutabaga, or anything else you want to serve as a salad.
A splash of Katz’s Apple Cider Vinegar
A pinch of salt and pepper
½ cup of your favorite extra virgin olive oil (I like Olio delle Caselle from Umbria)
Whisk together the vinegars and seasoning, then slowly stream in the olive oil while still whisking until the dressing is smooth and emulsified. If you like a little bit of heat, add some sriracha or Maras pepper. Use to dress greens, grains or roasted vegetables.
Golden Beet Salad
The earthy flavor of beets comes to life when paired with sharp red onions, crunchy celery, chewy raisins and a sweet and tangy boiled cider vinegar dressing. Look for beets which are firm and similar in size – we like ones a bit larger than an egg – to make cooking them a snap. This salad can be served warm or cold, and pairs beautifully with fresh goat milk cheese – we recommend a round of Boule de Quercy. Serves about 6.
4 pounds golden beets, rinsed well
4 stalks of celery, rinsed
1 large red onion
½ pound black raisins
¼ cup boiled cider dressing
¼ cup (plus more to taste) salt
pepper to taste
1. Place the clean beets in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add about ¼ cup of salt, then place on the stove on high. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook at a high simmer for 30-40 minutes until a knife can easily pierce through to the center of the largest beets. Drain and let cool for about 10 minutes while you arrange the rest of the ingredients.
2. Cut the celery lengthwise down the middle of the stalk and then slice. Place in a bowl.
3. Chop the red onion into a small dice or thin slices, depending on your preference, and add to the celery.
4. Pick through the raisins for any stems, then add to the bowl.
5. Add the dressing, and toss to coat. It should be a bit soupy. If it’s not, add more dressing or a splash more vinegar.
6. Peel the beets using a towel. Cut off the leaf end of the beet. Then, using both hands, rub gently with a towel to slide the skin off. Cut each beet into quarters – both slices and wedges work fine.
7. Add beets to the rest of the ingredients and toss to dress. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To order a case salad or family dinner in any quantity, please contact Tacy at 617-354-4750. We also have a full catering menu for parties, events, luncheons and dinners.
Tacy Taylor is the Catering Manager at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. She is completing her Masters in Gastronomy at BU and is also an avid sports fan, supporting the Sox, the Pats and the Bruins in her time off.