116 | CITISCAPES | DECEMBER 2018 EATS & DRINKS Chef Crescent Dragonwagon What: A Salad for Fall Dighero’s Insights: There are those in life who inspire by merely breathing the same air as we do. Crescent Dragonwagon is one of those people. Her positive, sincere energy has been a welcome addition to the High South food scene since her recent move to Fayetteville from Vermont. Her reputation as award-winning cookbook author and owner of the iconic Dairy Hollow House Inn in Eureka Springs precedes her. And, we’re thrilled to have her in the folds of our community, teaching at Brightwater, sipping tea at the Fayetteville Public Library and even leading fierce writing workshops in her home. Her recipes are delicious, smart and narrative in nature – guaranteed to make you a better person when you make them this holiday season. A Salad for Fall INGREDIENTS: u 4 to 5 small, or 2 to 3 large, fresh beets (ideally, mixed varieties), scrubbed u 1 recipe Sesame-Raisin Vinaigrette, recipe follows u 1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried u 1 head romaine lettuce, base removed, washed and dried, sliced crosswise with a very sharp knife no more than an hour before serving u 1 small red onion, sliced paper thin u 3 ounces good-quality blue or Roquefort cheese (we used Maytag at the inn), crumbled; optional, may be omitted or served on the side for vegans u ½ cup toasted walnuts u 1 crisp, tart apple, cored but unpeeled, cut into small matchstick-size pieces TECHNIQUE: 1. Up to four days in advance, cook the beets – fold them into a piece of foil, sealing tightly, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until tender-crisp. (Alternatively, you may steam the beets, or slice them and roast the slices; in any case, you want them cooked but not watery, and still with texture). Peel the cooked, cooled beets; dice into ¼-inch cubes. 2. Up to four hours before serving, toss the diced beets with 2 to 3 tablespoons Sesame-Raisin Vinaigrette. 3. Compose the salad as follows: line a platter, or individual plates, with the red leaf lettuce leaves. Top with the sliced romaine. Scatter the beets, onion, blue cheese, walnuts and apple pieces over the salad. Drizzle with some of the remaining dressing, passing additional at table.