I always find it refreshing to go back to normal eating after the holidays. Tonight was exactly what we needed, like a welcome home for our bellies.

We had Lidia Bastianich’s Basic Risotto, from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen cookbook (recipe can be found here). Crispy kale (which I don’t even use a recipe for anymore but if you want a recipe, this one is good). And an orange beet, cilantro and goat cheese salad. I feel like myself again.

• Orange Beet, Cilantro & Goat Cheese Salad •
1 bunch orange beets, approx 8 small beets
olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 oz plain chevre (soft goat cheese) 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and trim beets but do not peel.  Place beets on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Close up foil and bake beets until soft. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip them from their skins and cut into quarters, or bite-size pieces. Toss beets with lemon zest, rice wine vinegar cilantro and olive oil. Taste and add more oil and vinegar if needed. Pour into a serving dish and top with small chunks of chevre to serve.