July 26, 2012

Two Raw Beet Salads

We eat beets at least once a week throughout summer and fall, and 99% of those times, we eat them roasted and served with blue cheese, oil, and vinegar. (I know everyone says that beets and goat cheese are a perfect combination, but we really love beets with creamy, strong blue cheese.) Below, however, are two other ways we have enjoyed beets that are quick and don't involve the oven.

First Beet Salad
adapted from epicurious.com

This wins the prize for appearance. Just look at the gorgeous beets alone. That's one argument for using beets raw; their color doesn't seem quite so brilliant after being roasted. My seldom-used mandoline came in handy for this. Also, I thought this salad was even a little better the next day.

assorted beets (up to 2 1/4 lbs.)
1/4 small onion
flat leaf parsley, torn if desired (up to 1 1/4 C)
optional: ricotta

1/4 C orange juice (I only had pineapple juice the day I made this and it worked fine)
1 T lemon juice
1/4 C e-v olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Slice beets paper-thin, then into matchsticks. Thinly slice onion. Toss beets, onion, and parsley with dressing and season with salt. Let stand about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Serve accompanied by a spoonful of ricotta on the side if desired.

Second Beet Salad
from Martha Stewart Living, December 2011 

We served this at a holiday party in December using winter farmers' market beets and carrots. It is bright and beautiful and cold and was a nice counterpoint to beef and roasted potatoes.

1 fennel bulb, trimmed (I tend to avoid fennel, so I left this part out)
5 medium carrots
2 large beets, trimmed and peeled

2 t fennel seeds (omitted)
1/4 C orange juice
2 T sherry vinegar
2 t lemon juice
1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
coarse salt
1/4 C + 2 T e-v olive oil

Quarter fennel bulb lengthwise. Cut out core. Thinly slice lengthwise into strips. Grate carrots, then beets, on large holes of a box grater. 

Toast fennel seeds in skillet over medium-high, about 1 minute. In small bowl, whisk with other dressing ingredients. 

Toss dressing with fennel, beets, and carrots. 

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