Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beet Salad with Walnuts

As I mentioned in this previous post, this summer for me has been all about the beets at the Green Market. This is the same beet salad that you saw on the plate with the baked chicken and garlic potatoes. I did roast some walnuts and they do go beautifully well with this salad. The sweet and sour smoothness of the beets, punctuated by the crispness of the onions and celery, gets a final little flush of flavor from the roasted walnuts.

I took this picture one day later than the one from my earlier post. I love how the redness from the beets has made serious inroads of infiltration into the celery and onion. By the next day, everything in the salad was beet red; you could only tell what was what from its shape and texture.

For that reason, it is best to keep the roasted walnuts out of the salad until just before serving.

For all of you beet haters out there, I must confess that I, too, hated beets as a child. I don't know when it changed, but I do know that there is no comparison between what comes out of the can and what is pulled fresh from the ground. When cooked properly, they are tender and sweet and bursting with flavor. I did recently learn that if you do not get all the dirt off of them before cooking them, they will absorb it and all you will be able to taste is the dirt. Now I make sure they are properly cleaned and they are delicious every time.

This salad is a perfect accompaniment to any summer meal, and would make a nice change from cole slaw or bean salad.
Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

Note: This salad is best made the day before.

2 bunches baby beets, with roots and at least 1" of stems still attached.
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh oregano, or 1/2 tsp dry
salt and pepper to taste
toasted walnuts, chopped, for garnish

Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil. Trim beets, leaving one inch of the stem and the roots. Wash well, making sure to remove any dirt that is attached. Add to boiling water, lower heat and cover. Cook for 20-40 minutes, until knife inserted into a beet goes in and out smoothly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Remove stems and roots and cut into one-fourth inch slices. Add red onion and celery, oregano, salt and pepper.

In small jar combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, and oil. Shake well and pour over salad. Mix everything well. Taste for seasonings and adjust, if necessary.

Let sit at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to combine.

Sprinkle roasted walnuts over the salad before serving.

Exported from Home Cookin 5.6 (

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