Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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How are you doing?

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

I find myself constantly alternating between dreamy, instagram-worthy living where I have a cup of tea and homemade short biscuits at 3pm each day and trot around windy cities with my husband on weekends, and not being able to remember how long ago I washed my current bath towel and scrambling around at 4:45am to try to find Mr.  Pedantic a pair of black socks for work. I'm not sure how all three hundred pairs always manage to be dirty. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

This salad right here is for the organized days.  The days where we are purposeful about fueling these bodies of ours. 

This is my adaptation of an amazing salad I had when I visited Chattanooga a year and a half ago.  Up until that point, I would have told you that I did not eat beets.  

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

Then, I ordered a salad in some very hipster, exposed beams + crystal chandelier kind-of coffee shop and fell in love with the sweet, jewel-like cubes that lay atop my greens.  That salad taught me that roasted beets are nothing like the horrible canned slices of my childhood.   

This salad also makes me really like kale, which is sometimes a challenge.  I had a kale chip experience once.  I don't want to talk about it...

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

So let's make it!

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

Wash your greens, scrub your beets, and preheat your ovens. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

Beets are wrapped up in aluminum foil, along with a bit of olive oil, and roasted until soft and sweet. Then we get to peel off those skins, which is also known as, "time to dye our fingers fuchsia." 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

I love the addition of barley in this salad because it makes my brain think I'm eating pasta and adds a very welcome chewy texture. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

Kale is chopped fine and gets cozy with our still-warm barley and a sweet honey and poppy seed dressing.  

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

The colors here are making me really happy. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

Now, for the toppings. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

I threw pistachios, dried cranberries, and feta atop this salad, but the sky is the limit!  Use whatever nuts or dried fruits you have on hand.  I think walnuts would be excellent. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

The salty feta alongside the sweet roasted beets is my favorite. 

Kale, Barley & Roasted Beet Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing {Pedantic Foodie}

I know it's Pi Day, but around here pretty much every day is Pie Day - just check the archives.  Oh, and when you need to detox, me and my new salad will be waiting here for you.  xoxo

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Beet & Barely Salad

serves 4-6

for the beets

3 medium-sized beets, greens removed

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Clean beets thoroughly.  Cut 3 large squares of aluminum foil and pour 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil into the center of each.  Place each beet on top of the oil and wrap the sides of the foil up and around the beet, sealing it tightly.

Place the foil-wrapped beets in a baking dish and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until fork-tender.  

(This is a great time to cook your barley.)

Allow the beets to sit until they are cool enough to handle, then peel away the outer skins.  Chop into 1/4-inch cubes. 

for the barley

1 cup quick-cooking barley*

2 1/2 cups chicken stock 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Combine barley and chicken stock in a 3-quart sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, with the lid on, for ten minutes. 

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the barley to sit, covered, for five minutes.  Drain away any excess liquid and fluff with a fork.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine.

Allow the barley to cool slightly before adding it to the salad. 

*I buy Trader Joe’s “10-Minute Barley.”  Of course, if you prefer traditional barley, that will certainly work here - just prepare it according to the maker’s instructions. 

for the dressing

3 tablespoons honey 

1 tablespoon dijon mustard 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a small jar, combine honey, dijon mustard, sea salt, poppy seeds, and lemon juice.  Use a fork to whisk together. 

Add the olive oil to the mixture and top your jar with a tight lid.  Shake until the dressing is smooth and well combined.

toppings & assembly

6 cups kale, cut roughly into bite-size pieces 

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

1 cup crumbled feta 

1/3 cup pistachios  

cooked barley

roasted beets

prepared dressing

There are two ways to make this salad.  The first option is to prepare it as instructed below for serving a large group.  The second option would be to refrigerate the roasted beets, barley, and dressing in separate containers and build individual salads as you need them.  (The individual elements will last at least a week in the refrigerator.)  The choice is yours.  For an individual salad, I used two good spoonfuls of dressing. 

Pour the dressing into the bottom of a large salad bowl and add chopped kale, barley, and roasted beets; toss to coat.  Allow this mixture to sit for five minutes or so.  This resting time will give the kale a chance to soften.  Top with cranberries, feta, and pistachios.  Serve immediately and enjoy! 

COFFEE TALK

Well, here we are once again.  It is Friday and my heart is full of anticipation.  There is no containing my excitement when a double batch of mozzarella sticks and a trip to IKEA are on the horizon. 

Let's chat it up. 

COFFEE TALK {Pedantic Foodie}

I treated myself to this liner and this gloss this past weekend and I love it so much.  I know I’ve talked about the Urban Decay 24/7 lip liner before, but I have to mention it again because it really is so worth splurging on.  Honestly, you really do not even need a top coat.  It’s so smooth and it really does last all day.  Venom is a really pretty berry-pink and I’m obsessed with it.  I paired it with my Buxom gloss in Jane and I love the effect.  

It would seem I’ve been breaking some butter ground rules  Oops.  Also, I do not even remember the last time I bought salted butter.  I am an unsalted girl all the way. 

How do you feel about shopping for your groceries online?  I'm really not into it myself. While I have no doubt it would save some time, I relish my Monday afternoons of marketing.  It might sound pathetic, but grocery shopping is one of the things I look forward to most each week. I find inspiration in the produce section and I chat with my favorite cashier, and my favorite butcher with the charming New Jersey brogue.  However, for those of you who have to tote tiny people about with you, I can totally see the appeal of front door service. 

These shrimp. All the heart-eyed emojis. 

I baked up a batch of my favorite shortbread cookies this week and was reminded of how truly perfect they are.  I gifted half of the batch to a friend, but I have loved having a stash of my own to break into when I have my tea in the afternoons. 

Some eighteen years ago, my mother and aunts made these shamelessly elaborate sugar eggs and I remember huddling together in my Aunt Mere’s tiny galley kitchen with our piping bags and pompom chicks in hand as they were assembled.  This year, I was determined to indulge myself in some nostalgia, so my mother, sister, and I made half a dozen of these faux-faberge creations last weekend.  It was the sweetest of times (no pun intended) - sitting around the table with icing on our elbows and talking as we hollowed out our eggs and piped each delicate swirl.  I have not crafted much in the past several years, due primarily to a lack of time rather than desire, but I am now determined to delve back into some handicraft in 2017. 

I started by purchasing this pattern.  Not because I need a stuffed llama, but because it was just so cute I could not resist.  Besides, considering my background with sewing, I needed to make something I would not have to wear.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  

I fell into a very dark, mysterious, and mentally exhausting rabbit hole this past week thanks to Joy's recommendation.  I listened to this podcast constantly and finished the 9-hour saga within two and a half days.  Of course, as I have explained to my husband, I was working the whole time I was listening and that makes it sound less pathetic.  Oh my, this story… It’s consumed ninety percent of my thoughts this week and to say I have been panicky might be an understatement.  I did full-on attack my husband when he unintentionally sneaked up behind me.  I’ve been watching the landscapers with suspicious eyes and wondering which is most likely to murder me.  It is not exactly healthy, and my husband has wisely suggested that I set aside the true crime podcasts for a bit, but now… Oh, I’m in deep, you guys.   

What are you up to this weekend?  May I suggest baking a batch of muffins and settling down with a cozy read, or a slightly terrifying podcast?

Happy, happy weekend! 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie

Fried Ravioli with Marinara

Hey there!  It's a beautiful Tuesday and I'm here trying my darnedest to convince you to make pasta in the middle of your week. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

Homemade pasta has such an impressive reputation.  If we as much as admit to owning a pasta press the eyes of admiration are sure to bat in our direction. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

Now, I have no agenda to detract from the welcome praise and applause, but I really do not know why fresh pasta receives such accolades.  Let's think about it for a moment...

Requirements: Two hands and a pasta press

Ingredients: Flour + Eggs.

Qualifications: Play-dough skills must be at a K-5 level. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

I mean, it's not exactly difficult.  It's actually the opposite of difficult, which is defined as "this is why you should just put that frozen pizza back in the case and make ravioli for dinner tonight."  I looked it up.

As I see it, the only requirement for homemade pasta is a bit of patience.  Well, patience, and a pasta press.

So, let's dive into this newfound obsession of mine, and talk about how easy it is to make homemade ravioli a weeknight reality. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

These days I am trying hard to find my weeknight groove and I really love being able to have at least one component of dinner already prepared.  I'm not one of those Sunday afternoon meal-preppers though.  I have so much respect, but so little energy for that right now.  That is why I have been working on making basics, such as marinara or fresh pasta, in large batches, and finding different ways to use them throughout the week. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

I like to make a big batch of my favorite marinara sauce at the beginning of the week (often while I'm preparing dinner), and keep it on hand for chicken parmesan, pizza night, or ravioli-dipping. It is twenty minutes well spent. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

There is no "best part" to these ravioli.  They are so, so, so ridiculously wonderful that you cannot possibly single out one part.  However, the fact that they can be made in large batches and frozen certainly adds to their allure. 

The pasta dough itself comes together in about twelve minutes and then it has to rest for a half of an hour.  While the dough rests, the panko breading and egg wash can be assembled. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

Rolling out the dough is so satisfying.  

I used a piping bag to pipe 1 1/2 teaspoon dollops of ricotta onto my pasta sheet.  In order to get the spacing just right, I like to stamp the outline of the ravioli press onto the pasta before piping on the ricotta.  This gives a template to work within that will really help in keeping things uniform. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

I learned that air bubbles are a major thing when it comes to ravioli.  After laying the second sheet of pasta atop the first, you will want to gently press around the ricotta to prevent the ravioli from becoming a pillow of air when you seal it. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

Now, you can call it a day if you would like.  Just lay those frilly squares out onto a baking sheet and freeze for two hours, until solid, and then transfer to an airtight freezer bag.  So many possibilities will be at your fingertips.   

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

If homemade pasta is impressive, then a freezer stocked with homemade ravioli is amazing. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

Or, you could freeze only half of your creations, place a big pot of salty water on the stove, and just jump right into the magical world that is fried ravioli. 

The ravioli are boiled for a brief three minutes before being coated in flour, egg wash, and well-seasoned panko.  Then, they are dropped into the fryer to become crisp and golden and wonderful. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

 So, let's step back a moment.  With an ample amount of forethought and some minor preparations, nearly every component of this dish can be made in advance.  The ravioli can be cooked from frozen, the sauce reheated, and the panko seasoned in advance and stored in an airtight container. 

Hm. Maybe homemade pasta is pretty impressive after all. 

Fried Ravioli with Marinara {Pedantic Foodie}

The moment you crunch down on one of these chewy, ricotta-stuffed pillows of paradise you will be turning your kitchen into a pasta factory.  

Quick and easy never tasted so good.

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Fried Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

makes 4 servings (16 ravioli)

for the marinara sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1, 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar 

In a small, 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until the garlic just begins to brown, then add tomatoes.  

Bring the sauce to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; blend until smooth.  Stir in kosher salt and sugar to taste.  The amount of sugar will highly depend on the sweetness of the tomatoes. 

This sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  

for the ravioli

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs (2 if using very large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta 

Turn the flour out unto a large, cleaned section of your countertop and push the flour out to the edges of the mound, forming a wide well.  

Crack the eggs directly into the center of the well and use a fork to beat the eggs, scooping up a bit of flour from the edges as you work.  Continue working the flour into the eggs until a rough dough has formed, then use your hands to shape it into a rough ball. 

Knead the pasta for ten minutes.  This will give your arm quite a workout, but it will result in a lovely, smooth dough.  When you are done, the dough should be smooth and firm, but not too sticky or overly dry. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Place ricotta in a pastry bag. 

Flatten the rested dough into a disc and run it through your pasta roller, one time on each setting, until you have reached the third to the last setting.  

Divide the sheet of pasta into two equal sheets.  Take your ravioli stamp and lightly stamp one sheet of the dough so that you have a light outline of the space you will work in.  You should be able to do two rows of ravioli. 

Pipe two rows of ricotta (about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons each) into the center of reach ravioli outline, then cover with the remaining sheet of pasta.

Using your fingertips, press lightly around each mound of ricotta to prevent any air bubbles from forming, then use your stamp to punch out 16 even raviolis.

Cook’s Note: At this point, you can lay the ravioli out onto a sheet pan and freeze for two hours; until solid.  Then, transfer the frozen ravioli to a zip-top bag and store for up to 2 weeks.  

for the coating and frying 

  • 4 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup whole milk 
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)
  • sea salt 

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and place a cooling rack on top. 

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine panko, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried spices.  Place the flour in a third bowl. 

Set a large pot of water over high heat and season with salt.  When the water is boiling, drop ravioli and boil for 3 minutes; drain immediately. 

Dip the still-hot ravioli in flour and shake to dust off the excess.  Dip in egg wash and then coat with the seasoned panko.  Lay the coated ravioli on a drying rack.

Fill your deep fryer with 3-inches of vegetable oil and heat until it has reached 350 degrees F. 

Drop the ravioli in the hot oil, working two at a time, and fry for one minute on each side.  Transfer the ravioli to the prepared cooling rack and sprinkle with sea salt immediately after frying.  Allow the ravioli to cool for five minutes before serving.  Serve alongside hot marinara sauce for dipping.  Enjoy!