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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

MARFA, Texas . . . and PICKLED BEET & CHARRED BROCCOLI SALAD


Although you have to pay and go on a tour to see inside the 18 buildings that house the works by Donald Judd and other artists, there’s also a free, self-guided tour of a large number of Judd’s concrete structures. 

I have to say the guidebooks I looked at weren’t exactly on fire about the Chinati Foundation so I was surprised at how stunning these are.

Kepler really enjoyed them, too.

So you’re in Marfa to see the art . . . well, you need to stay somewhere. 

Nicole chose El Cosmico, which, according to OFF THE BEATEN PATH TEXAS, is both a cultural center and a lodging choice that’s a “magnet for artists, musicians, and people who embrace a lifestyle that blends sophistication with bohemian sensibilities”.    

You can choose between staying in a tent, a tipi, a yurt, a trailer, or your own camping equipment. 
 
You park your car and trundle your belongings over to your home away from home.



 Lonely Planet calls it a funky choice and warns that it’s not for everyone: the grounds are dry and dusty and you might have to shower outdoors.

Staying in “Little Pinky” meant we had to step outside to get to our toilet as well, and, BRRRR, was it COLD there at night.


Nicole and Kepler's trailer was a bit more comfortable and spacious. 

Marfa is not cheap to visit -- it's like a pilgrimage site for art lovers from New York.  Also, you really have to plan on visiting between Friday and Sunday or places may be closed.  But it IS worth it and when you go make sure you have breakfast in BUNS AND ROSES.

                                              We'll be back, for sure.

                                                     *******

The recipe I'm sharing here is, I'm happy to say, also a work of art.

PICKLED BEET & CHARRED BROCCOLI SALAD


from FIRE in my BELLY  by Kevin Gillespie, c 2012.  
(in Nicole's cookbook collection)


1 to 2 lbs beets (about 4)
1 ½ cups red or white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
⅓ cup pickling spice
4 inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 star anise
1 crown of broccoli
2 ounces goat cheese (we used feta instead)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp water
2 tsp salt
1 cup greens (salad mix)
3 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper (5 grinds)
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese


  • Peel beets and cut into one inch chunks.
  • In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, cinnamon, and star anise.  Bring to a boil and stir about 2 minutes to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat.  Let sit 10 minutes.
  • Strain to discard spices but reserve liquid.
  • Return liquid to pot.  Add beets.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let beets finish cooking as they cool in liquid.


  • cut broccoli into small florets.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat.
  • Drop broccoli florets into dry skillet.  Stir and cook about 2 minutes until charred.
  • Put charred broccoli into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • In a small bowl, whisk together dressing of 2 ounces feta or goat cheese, lemon juice, water, and ¼ tsp salt.


  • FINAL ASSEMBLY at serving time you will have 4 separate bowls:
  • Bowl 1:  the  dressing
  • bowl 2:   toss the salad greens with 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, and 2 grinds of pepper.
  • Bowl 3:  Drain beets & discard liquid.  Toss beets with 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, and 3 grinds black pepper.
  • Bowl 4:  Toss broccoli with 1 tsp olive oil, ⅛ tsp salt, and 2 grinds of pepper.
  • Divide beets evenly among serving plates.  Top with broccoli, salad greens, and crumbled feta.  Drizzle on the cheese dressing mixture.


AMAZING! Like going to a first-class restaurant!