Beet Salad and Variations
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Winter is the time for roots…
They keep in the dark, in cold storage, silently, modestly holding their nutritional goodness. They come from earth and carry its flavor, the fragrance of regeneration. In these darker times, I especially love carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and, of course, that super-food favorite of mine – beets.
With all my rich holiday eating this past month, I was looking for something lighter a couple of days ago. I roasted three beets – washing them, wrapping them in foil, and putting them on the pizza pan from my Breville Smart Oven Plus countertop oven (I love that oven!) at 350˚F for almost an hour. Amazingly (I’d never used it before), the pizza pan really IS non-stick: the beet juice that leaked out and burnt onto the pan just wiped off under water.
Once the beets cooled down enough to handle, I could unwrap the foil and just wipe off the skin with a paper towel — turns out that beets are non-stick, too. Then, I stored the beets in the fridge for almost instant salads.
Beet Salad Variations
‘Twas the night before last and all through the house I was looking for beet-friendly pals. I found cherry tomatoes , sweet onions, fresh parsley, celery, and shredded carrots. But, the list is almost endless. It could have been slightly steamed green beans, sliced almonds, dates or other dried fruits, fennel instead of celery, spring onions instead of sweet onions, raw cauliflower or broccoli… and don’t even get me thinking about cheese: I was looking for something lighter.
I put together a squeeze bottle of classic vinaigrette — just oil and vinegar, salt and pepper — but out of two of my favorite bottles from Temecula Olive Oil Company: Honey Vinegar and Fresh Lime Olive Oil.
The salad was a healthy and flavorful accompaniment to cold sliced chicken with hot gravy.
Last night was even easier, since I already had the vinaigrette and another roasted beet.
Instead of the cherry tomatoes, I used half of a perfectly ripe, firm and buttery, avocado. A squeeze of the vinaigrette, after the soft cooked eggs were done and dinner was ready.
Tonight is, of course, New Year’s Eve, so there will be lots to eat as a dozen or so of us in the building go from one condo to another, working our way up to midnight and the higher Treo realms.
Tomorrow, we begin again in earnest for healthy eating, with sensible salads and much less meat. Good thing there are beets.