After you read about Angie's delicious holiday salad recipe go visit her fantastic food blog Food Musings, where she shares all of her yummy recipes and pictures to everyone. Thanks for writing Angie!

When my friends get together for a dinner party we typically each bring a dish so the host/hostess is not too overwhelmed. We were recently invited to a Holiday dinner party at my friends' Tom and Cindy Houck and I was asked to bring the salad. I knew Cindy would serve the dinner buffet style so decided to prepare the salad self-serve style.

The salad was a big hit and the beets made the day! Some guests even went back for seconds of just beets with blue cheese dressing drizzled on top. Serving a deconstructed salad is attractive and appetizing as well as fun for the guests! You might even want to serve it with shredded meat to the side and make it a full meal.

Enjoy this salad soon with your Holiday meal.

You can find this recipe and more on http://www.foodmuses.com/

Serves 10 as a first course

Recipe inspired by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium beets, washed and trimmed of root tips and stems
  • 4 large shallots, sliced thin and separated into rings
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Large bowl of mixed lettuce, rinsed and dry
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced and toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 TB Penzey's Peppercorn Dressing Mix*
  • 9 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the sour cream, mayo and spices. Stir in blue cheese carefully. Place in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. *substitute cracked black pepper, coarse salt, garlic powder.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F and adjust rack to lower-middle. Wrap each beet in foil and bake 50 minutes. Unwrap and let cool, then peel and cut into 1/4 inch wedges. Use plastic gloves or paper towels to keep beet juice from fingertips. Place beets on a decorative plate - these should be served lukewarm.

While beets are roasting, toss shallots with salt, pepper and flour. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high until smoking. Then add shallots and cook, stirring frequently until golden and crisped. Transfer shallots to a paper plate lined with paper towels and let drain. After they are dry, transfer them to a decorative plate.

Place almonds and cranberries on a small plate.

Toss lettuce and celery in a large bowl. Place all items on the counter with serving utensils and allow guests to assemble their own salad.

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