it’s a critical beetdown: my hedge house salad

The last few times I’ve been to Portland, OR I always make sure to visit the Hedge House and eat their house salad. It’s amazing and I just can’t seem to shut up about it. I tried in the past to recreate it and wasn’t wildly successful. I mean it should be easy enough: beets, hazelnuts, blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. But when I returned last week after another taste of the infamous Hedge House Salad, I decided that this baby would be mine to recreate in my Vancouver kitchen whenever the hell I wanted. And as you can tell by my smile, I reached salad nirvana.

I didn’t have blue cheese or hazelnuts so I figured right there that my attempts at remaking would be thwarted. I used toasted pecans and feta instead and, oh my, the salad gods did not let me down. I like my dressing to be the perfect mix of sweet and sour so I’ve added an extra blob of honey in the directions, but you can choose to use either jam or honey or be brave and use both like I did. I also used a balsamic vinegar Dijon mustard, but you could sub in any old Dijon and I’m sure it would be great. Just taste before you pour so you don’t get any surprises.

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21 comments to “it’s a critical beetdown: my hedge house salad”

  1. 1
    VeggieGirl   May 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I like your variation on that Hedge house salad! Yum!

  2. 2
    Sylvie   May 21, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Mmmhhh, that looks like a wonderful salad.

  3. 3
    Frances   May 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    your idea of including cherry jam in this beet salad is an inspiration – I’m such a fan of both beets and cherry jam, but had never thought they might go together! we’ll be trying this very soon. thanks!

  4. 4
    Amanda   May 22, 2008 at 6:13 am

    hello!
    Saw this recipe on your site yesterday, and thought it would be a great, quick dinner…and it definitely was! I went with baby spinach and goat cheese, and also added some orange segments. Instead of the honey, I used agave nectar, and added a little orange zest too. It was delicious!

    thank you!

  5. 5
    kickpleat   May 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

    thanks veggiegirl!

    sylvie, it definitely is.

    frances, they do work together wonderfully.

    amanda, so glad that you could share my love of this salad! yay.

    hag, you could use marmalade (oh that would be good!) or just honey. i’d even try raspberry or blackberry jam. it’s really just a sweetener and doesn’t add that much in terms of flavour.

  6. 6
    EB   May 22, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I make a similar salad but I roll the goat cheese in herbs & breadcrumbs, broil it and put it on top of a beet ‘steak’. I love your idea of the jam!

  7. 7
    Cakespy   May 22, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I am an absolute whore for a good beet salad. There, I said it! Speaking of which if you come to Seattle they have a killer one (not all the time, but WHEN THEY DO…) at Cafe Presse. Just FYI!

    However, even better than that is having a recipe! This looks perfect. And your smile is pretty priceless! :-)

  8. 8
    hag   May 22, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Yummy beet salad! looks really good! What would you suggest instead of cherry jam? I have a serious addiction to cherry jam, and can’t keep it in the house!

  9. 9
    beth   May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    We keep getting beets in our food box, and they are pretty much the one ingredient I am least excited for. I made waaaaaaay too much borscht the other day. We will be eating it for weeks. Bleck.
    I wish I had seen this recipe first. It looks way better.

  10. 10
    Jennie   May 23, 2008 at 12:35 am

    That looks fabulous! I must admit that I find beets a bit bland like that, so I’ll try with my pickled beets instead. Hmmm, maybe I could just use those to make a dressing with…

    J, you seriously have one of the most user friendly food blogs out there, without being a bore. I dread to think where I would be without it!

  11. 11
    kickpleat   May 23, 2008 at 8:19 am

    eb, sounds fantastic!

    thanks for the seattle tip, cakespy. i think when i’m there i just opt for dick’s hamburgers! ha.

    beth, try to enjoy your borscht! i’ll keep enjoying my salad :)

    jennie, the beets do get marinted slightly, so they aren’t bland in the least. and thank you for the complement, it’s the best i’ve ever received :)

  12. 12
    Kylie   May 25, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Ahh, beets are the best! Usually the best salads for beets are with all of those ingredients… especially pecans. Goat cheese goes so lovely too!

  13. 13
    eatme_delicious   May 25, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Oh wow that salad sounds perfect! I love beets, pecans and feta. Really interesting that you added jam to the dressing – I’ve never seen anyone do that before. Now I want to try it! And I’ve never seen balsamic Dijon mustard. Sounds like it would be good!

  14. 14
    kickpleat   May 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    miss kylie, i agree, goat cheese goes so well with beets!

    eatme, yes, jam is an ingredient i use quite often in salads. it adds a nice sweetness and a tang of fruit. yum.

  15. 15
    rawbean   May 27, 2008 at 9:16 am

    omg this looks so good. I will be making this!

  16. 16
    Mari   May 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Any salad with beets is all right by me, but then you had to go and throw my favorite nut in there too?! YUM!

  17. 17
    Bijoux   June 3, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Everything about this beet salad inspires me! The colours, the textures, the melding of flavours, tangy meets nutty and let us not forget the health factor. You’ve got your dairy, your protein, your veggies and ‘my personal fav’ cherry jam…umm, as dessert, of course! :D

  18. 18
    kickpleat   June 3, 2008 at 9:43 am

    rawbean, it’s totally tasty! enjoy.

    mevrouw cupcake, originally made with hazelnuts, i think pecans were an excellent choice (if i do say so myself).

    bijoux, i agree. this is a pretty perfect meal!

  19. 19
    Maleah   January 7, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for the inspiration I needed for lunch today.

  20. 20
    Soon, Then   January 22, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I just discovered your blog, and damn, this sounds so yummy! I was unaware of Hedge House and will have to try both versions! Thanks!

  21. 21
    kickpleat   January 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

    soon then, you must try the hedge house! great beers and delicious food! and monday is trivia night! perfect!

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