For My Valentine


"How do I love thee?" Just search for romantic poems on the internet, and this one comes out on top! Beloved Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett, who married Robert Browning in the face of her family’s opposition, published Sonnets from the Portuguese, in 1950 to critical acclaim. I would write a poem for Valentine’s Day had I the talent. For me, however, the food I prepare is my best expression of affection, so here is the Valentine’s Day salad that I’ll be sharing with my special someone!

For the Salad

Roast ½ pounds of fresh beets in a double layer of tinfoil in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the beets are pierced easily with fork (be careful of the beet juices). Let cool. Peel (scrape off skin using a sharp paring knife) and thinly slice. Julienne the beet greens and toss with some of the hazelnut vinaigrette. Top with the sliced beets and slivers of red onion, then crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. Finish with a drizzle of the vinaigrette and voila – a colorful and flavorful Valentine’s Day salad.

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ c. champagne or white wine vinegar
  • ½ c. hazelnut oil Pinch of dried mustard or
  • ¼ t. good quality jarred mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk the mustard into the vinegar, then slowly whisk in the hazelnut oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Substitute a mild flavored canola oil for the hazelnut if you prefer.