The Beet, Turnip & Apple Salad, Olive Oil Give-Away, Leaking Ceiling & Pancakes Story

This morning I woke up with 3 things on my mind…

(1) “Wow, that was really a weird dream.” My house was a combination of my current modern home and one I lived in as a young adult. This older home, circa 1940, had windows all across the front with a long porch on the outside, as well as a porch “room” on the backside. I had just finished my food prep for a large gathering of friends and decided to do a walk through to make sure the house was in order. It was then I noticed that several of the skinny white square columns that connected the floors to the high ceilings in my very white dining and living rooms (the front room with the windows) had broken from their moors at the ceiling level and were now leaning out at angles like leafless birch trees in a windstorm. The seams between the sheetrock panels on the ceilings had also broken, and rust colored water was dripping down on to the hardwood floor, as it was also from the now brown squares where the columns had once been attached. I told my husband we (he) needed to fix this before our guests arrived in an hour. Then I woke up.

(2) I would really like to make my golden beet, baby turnip, and apple salad today.

beet turnip and apple salad

(3) Pancakes. I must also have pancakes.

There you go… 3 random thoughts that occurred within the space of probably 20 seconds. I don’t know what this dream has to do with the other 2 thoughts, but I shared it because the room was so oddly austere. Those who have seen my home know that a sterile looking white room without a lot of colorful stuff covering every available surface is NOT my style. Just look at my blog header. I would go nuts in a an all white room.

As for the pancakes, I’ve actually been craving them for about a week now, so I formulated a plan to enjoy both the salad and the pancakes — I phoned a girlfriend and invited her to join me for breakfast and a trip to one of our local Farmers’ Markets. She excitedly said yes, so off we went.

First stop was the Market, where I bagged my beets and turnips — and kale, carrots, arugula, baby potatoes, and ruby chard (I’m always thinking of my next meal, even while I’m eating the current one). Oh yeah, and a sushi grade salmon fillet. During breakfast I mentioned that I needed to tell her about my dream, but we got off on another topic and I forgot all about it.

So everything I woke up thinking about manifested in some way or another into my morning, except I guess for maybe that weird dream. But, now that I’ve written it down I think it could have something to do with the fact that next week I have a business networking group coming to my office/studio. Having everything perfect for them is, of course, very much on my mind. My breakfast friend and I talked about what I’m going to feed the 15 — 40 some odd people, some of whom are strangers and may or may not show up. It’s hard to plan for these functions, especially when the weather is expected to be wonky. “They” say it is going to rain heavily next week, so maybe that explains my “wet” dream. I’ll be sure to let you know if the ceiling leaks and what I feed them.

For now, as I come down off the holiday high of too many gatherings and gifts of chocolates, caramels, and cookies, my focus is on trying to get back on the path again of eating healthy before New Years Day actually arrives. I know what you’re thinking… the pancake craving got the best of me, but we won’t belabor over that. I said, after all, that I am trying. The word doing never came out of my mouth. I’ll make up for it when I concoct the following salad recipe for our dinner tonight.

So, before we move on to the recipe, how about a little contest?


To celebrate my new blog, the New Year ahead, and my favorite dressing for my vegetable and fruit salad combos, this is your chance to win my first ever give-away — a tin of authentic Umbrian olive oil valued at $25 (US). Peppery and grassy in taste, my friends and family love it, so for the 2nd year I had yet another case shipped in from our friends Letizia and Ruurd at the Alla Madonna del Piatto B&B and cooking school. We were their guests for a week back in the Fall of 2011. I will share more about that experience soon, so be sure to watch for it.

UPDATED 1/1/2013: THIS GIVE-AWAY ENDED ON 12/31/12. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER, KARRLIN BAIN OF WISCONSIN! Karrlin is the creative force behind Karrlin Bain Creates where she shares original poems, her blooming artist journey, book reviews and more!


Note: This is another one of my soon to be famous “I have this stuff, what can I make with it” kind of salads. There are no specific measurements, however, I would guess that about 2 cups of greens would make a nice salad for 1 person, 2 of each vegetable and 1 fruit would be enough for 2 servings. Consider reserving the beet and turnip greens for including, too, as they give any salad a more earthy, hearty flavor. As for the fruits and vegetables, I try to add equal portions to all of my green salads. Simply julienne them (cut them into even, matchstick-like pieces) as shown in the photo. Add a little cheese and nuts to suit your taste, and you’ll have a wonderfully crunchy and healthy salad.

Ingredients & Order of Assemblage

Lightly toss together the following:

Green leaf lettuce (gently torn into bite-sized pieces)
Baby Spinach
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 1/2 to 1 tbsp. per serving)

Next, toss in the julienne cuts of:

Raw Baby White Turnip
Raw Golden Beet (the smaller ones are sweeter)
Granny Smith Apple

Then add the:

Walnuts, coarsely chopped or whole (slightly chopped gives you more bites)

Top with:

Coarse Grey Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Crumbles of soft cheese (such as a goat, or even a French goat, cow and sheep combo if you can find it, or a mild French blue cheese)


  1. Just got a cup of tea… also shared on my fb page and in seriously LESS than one second my friend liked it. I am going to go do some more great reading…

  2. I wish I lived near you as I love good food and company and I LOVE THE CLEAN UP ROLE so much more than the cooking role! : ) I am hopping along the steps of your giveaway which is just the challenge I need to get my head waking up today. I liked your facebook page as an action and for real! What a wonderful blog and dog you have!

  3. Maggie Drake says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes, ideas, and accompanying photos. Good luck with your endeavor.

  4. That salad sounds amazing. I am not one to go crazy over a salad, but this one makes my mouth water. I’m with Lisa…I’m going to look for golden beets and baby turnips today to make this! (posted it to pinterest too, so I don’t forget it later!) And of course, shared on my Facebook page too.

    • Shelly, I used to be the same way about salads. Most were boring until I discovered adding fruits and unusual vegetables. I go through the refrigerator tasting things together, mixing and matching. It’s fun! Thanks for always stopping in! You have several chances to win!

  5. Linda Slobey says:

    Sharon, I love everything ahout your site, your banner is so fascinating with all the elements you have incorporated with a great color scheme. I am eager you try your recipes and your stories are engaging. Thank you for the opportunity to win the olive oil. I shared this on FB, I think I did, still learning my way around all this.

    • Linda, THANK YOU! I appreciate your wonderful words. You are entered on several counts! I am just getting the hang of all of this, too, so sorry if my message to someone else appeared in your in basket!

  6. Dale Knight says:

    I posted like to your page.

    Have you tried making pancakes with eggnog instead of milk? One tip is to separate the whites out of the ggs and whip them frothy and add them to the mixture at the last moment before putting the pancakes on the griddle.

    • No, I haven’t. Eggnog has never been on my radar, but I like the idea of whipping the whites to make fluffy pancakes. The cakes I ate at the diner were horrid, flat and tough! I wanted to go in the kitchen and tell them how to cook them properly!

  7. Dale Knight says:

    This sounds wonderful. I love beets.

  8. What a fantastic offer Sharon! I just like to visit your blog and read all your enthusiastic, imaginative and yummy posts :-) Now off to the farmers market to buy baby turnips, golden beets and find persimmons. Also I’m going on a diet with your recipes!

    • Thanks, Lisa! Be sure to let me know if you do anything different that turns out good. One of the secrets to these salads is to use a flavorful, peppery olive oil. You have been such a cheerleader for me, that I have a special treat in store for you. Stay tuned…

  9. I like this!!!! :)

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