Sunday, October 17, 2010

Magenta Beet Medley

The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC. So I'm making the most of this old friend, and cooking a warm beet salad to go with any dish. My family had a tradition of making a warm beet salad in South America. This salad is variation of their recipe, mixed with a slice of California and sprinkle of my travels in Italy.  At my local Organic Farmers Market I found these two different varieties: Burpee's Golden (orange skin/yellow inside) & Red Ace (dark purple skin, beautiful deep red/magenta inside), perfect for this medley to sing hymns of joy in your mouth. I've also made two different presentations of this salad to give you ideas on how to serve.

8 medium to small beets
1 medium cucumber
1/2 small red onion,
1 clove of garlic
4 small heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of basil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon or lime
2 tablespoons of olive oil

First, boil beets till they are easily pierced with a fork. Sometimes it helps to cut beets in halves if they are on the larger side. While those are boiling, cut up the cucumber, tomatoes, press 1 garlic glove and do a fine chop of the red onion, fresh basil is always preferable to dried, but we  do what we can. When beets are ready, give them a quick rinse in cold water, let them cool down a bit before taking skins off. The skins should easily come off, and beets will leave your hands died while handling them. On a cutting board, chose which presentation you would like before you decide how to cut beets. Length wise or in small cube bites. (The platter style is good for larger parties - look how gorgeous it looks!) I like to add the beets to the salad while they are still warm, they make a great comfort food. Lastly, in separate bowl, make the dressing with the 2-1 olive to lemon juice, use salt to neutralize the acidity of the lemon juice, and add spices. Wisk dressing with a fork lightly. Pour over your salad. The more you mix salad the more it will turn dark red. Enjoy & sing a song of joy! 

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