fredag 5 april 2013

Beet salad

Seasonal eating means enjoying the produce (and fish) that is currently available in your region, and avoiding foods that have to be grown in greenhouses or shipped from far away when not in season. Eating seasonally is a great way to save energy in food production and to enjoy foods on a deeper level: fruits and vegetables taste better when they are in season! This blog is written in Sweden and therefore, at this time of year, eating seasonally means enjoying many root vegetables and winter greens.

It's late winter here in Sweden and happily it's possible to enjoy fresh beets at this time of year. Beets are a winter crop and can either be stored to last throughout the cold season, or left in the ground, insulated by a blanket of straw and snow, and harvested when needed.

This salad is a great way to enjoy the earthy flavour of beets. The sharp dressing is an excellent foil for the slight sweetness of beets. Polka beets, if you can find them, are perfect in this recipe. They are slightly milder than red beets, and their red-and-white interior fades to a lovely peach when cooked.

Beet salad - adapted from Modern fransk husmanskost by Yvan Cadiou

Serves two

4 smallish beets or 2 large ones (raw or boiled until soft)
one small red onion or half a larger one
1 1/2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil (or slightly less, to taste)
salt and peppar
1/2 tbsp dried parsley

  • Scrub the raw beets, if using, but do not peel them. Boil until soft (at least twenty minutes, depending on the age and size of the beets). Drain and allow to cool. 
  • While the beets are cooking, prepare the dressing: whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Slice the onion thinly and arrange in a serving bowel. Pour over half the dressing and blend well with the onion. Doing this while the beets are cooking will give the onion time to macerate and become milder in flavour. 
  • When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim and peel them and cut into good-size pieces. 
  • Mix the beets, parsley and the rest of the dressing with the onions. Let stand an additional twenty minutes before serving to give the flavours time to develop. Excellent on its own, or serve on green salad leaves. 
Dawn Anthony

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