I love almost all root vegetables, especially this time of year but one of my favourites is beets. I’m not particularly a fan of raw beet but once they are cooked, I will happily devour them in many different ways: pickled beets, borscht, beet & barley risotto…
And a big mound of peeled, cooked beets always remind me of finding a cache of rich ruby red gems in a pirate’s cave.
When we were in London in September, my sister went out into her garden, pulled up a few beets (or beetroot as they are known in the UK), rinsed them & tossed them in olive oil before roasting them…heaven!
So when I saw this recipe for beet salad (see below), I knew I had to try it out for last night’s dinner party.
Before I get to the recipe, I will say that the downside to cooking – or more specifically, peeling – beets is that you usually end with blood red stains on your fingers…which is fine, unless you have to go to a client meeting the next morning. You can look for yellow beets: although these always just seem…I don’t know, aenemic…compared to the red beets. Or do what I did yesterday morning – head to the dollar store and pick up a pack of latex gloves: makes peeling a little fiddlier but definitely worth it to spare the staining.
Beet Salad with Apple & Mint (serves 8)*
Rinse 1.5 kg of beets and place, unpeeled, in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a full boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 – 60 minutes (until fork tender). Leave in pot until cool to touch and then drain.
Peel the beets (this is where you want those latex gloves) into bite-sized pieces.
Roughly julienne 2 large apples (no need to peel them – just core first).
Mix together 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove with a bit of salt & pepper. add 1/4 cup of olive oil and then mix in apples until all is combined.
Add beets and stir everything together.
Optional: stir in 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped mint just before serving. I forgot to do this (although the mint was chopped and waiting…) and really didn’t miss it.
Now, based on last night’s response from my dinner guests, there are those who do not love (or even like) beets so they were not interested but those who are beet fans loved this recipe…
Are you also a beet lover? If so, what is your favourite way to prepare beets?
*Source: LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2013