Monday, February 22, 2010

Grated Beet Salad, Italian Style

Beets are definitely one of those vegetables that many people revisit in their adult years and generally fall in love with them.

(Just as an aside, I wonder how the beet gods feel about that...)

Since Market Gardeners (what people call the farmers at farmer's markets) have started growing a wider variety of beets, it's the perfect place to try out some new varieties. I had never bought golden beets and was shocked to find that their inside was an iridescent neon yellow rather than the orange of the skin.

The rings in the beet growth - similar to the rings of a tree trunk - are so delicate in the golden beets but just as apparent. I roasted them and they had a much mellower beet flavor than their red counterpart. Here I grated them together with a red beet, and while the photo doesn't show it as well, the shredded golden beet turned orange from the red beet juice.

This is a simple salad, made in a traditional Italian style for carrots. It is best to let this sit for a couple of hours for the beet flavor to emerge.

Grated Beet Salad, Italian Style

1 medium golden beet, peeled and shredded
1 small red beet, peeled and shredded
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 plus teaspoon salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonaded

Combine beets with lemon juice, olive and salt, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt at a time. The salt brings out the beet juice which brings out the flaor and the sweetness of the salad. Add mint if you like. Chill several hours before serving.


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