January 23, 2014
We’ve been trying to go easy on our starches this month, but I was majorly jonesing for potato salad. I’m the classic “tell me no on anything and I see it as a challenge to get to yes.” My solution this time around was delicious beet salad. It gives you the starchy satisfaction of a potato, but with the health benefits of a beet. The tasty mustard dressing is a welcome change from the standard beets/goat cheese/candied pecan trifecta. The flavor, color and simplicity of this dish earned it a steady spot in our mealtime rotation.
Many people seem to find cooking beets intimidating. It really isn’t difficult— with this dish you can roast or boil. Both methods work (and I’ve explained them down below). I wish I could tell you these beets came from my garden, but without any rain around here mine are just too puny to harvest.
To Cook Your Beets:
For this recipe you can choose to either roast or boil your beets. These guidelines here are for medium sized beets; adjust your cooking time for bigger/smaller bulbs. When you can pierce the flesh with a knife easily, they are done.
Remove the stems and wash them (If you want to feel super resourceful and clever, cook up the stems the same way you would Swiss Chard).
To Roast: Preheat your oven to 350. In a pie plate place the cleaned beets, a few cloves of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Drizzle with olive oil or a splash of water and then roast covered with foil for one hour.
To Boil: Fill a pot with water, add a handful of salt and beets, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 45 minutes. Skim any scum that rises to the top and add more water as needed.
To Peel: When the beets are cool enough to handle wipe away the skin with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Done. See? Easy, peasy.
Mustardy Beet Salad
4 beets, cooked (see above)
1 stalk celery, small dice and reserve leaves for garnish
1 green onion, trimmed and sliced into thin coins
½ small garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons golden or white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and twist of pepper to taste
Mix dressing in small bowl. Slice beets into ½” thick circles, place on plates or platter and then drizzle dressing over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of celery leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.