Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Beet & Bean Salad

It seems there are those who are not as gastronomically in-tune with beets as myself. How did this blushing beauty get such a bad rap? Full of color, sweet, delicious and combining well with almost anything-- where did the sweet beet go wrong in history? Is it that slightly off-putting exterior? I know many other vegetables that look much worse off (dinosaur kale, parsnips, dare I say celery root and sunchokes?!). Is it too economical? Eating both leaves and root of a single vegetable is too smart for the purse strings? Is it my Eastern European heritage that has me craving the rubies of the Earth?

Here’s to beets, the sweetest of all vegetables (while remaining low in calories) and all their nutritional goodness.

Notes on this salad: I used beets leftover from myBraised Beets, hence the minimal cook time noted below. If making fresh beets, you can braise them or boil them for 45 minutes; until soft. Because these beets were braised in orange juice, they had an extra citrus sweet tang that allowed this salad to pair nicely with an orange juice-lemon vinaigrette. I think this salad would have been delicious (and beautiful) with some sliced oranges added on top.

Makes: 2 servings. Active Time= 10 minutes. Cook Time= 45 minutes.
* 2 medium-sized beets
* 10-15 green beans
* Parmesan cheese to taste
* 1 Tbl orange juice
* 1 Tbl lemon juice
* 1 Tbl vinegar (tarragon or wine)

1) Bring a pot with about 4 cups of water (enough to cover the beets) to a boil on the stovetop. Cut stems off beets leaving about 1 inch of stem in tact. Wash thoroughly and place in boiling water for 45 minutes; until soft.
2) Remove beets from water and place in ice bath (you can retain and freeze beet juice from the boiling pot and use it for soup another time). Remove skins, they should fall off with slight nudge. Slice beets in ¼ inch cubes or discs.
3) Wash and blanch green beans (with a little water in a hot saucepan heat beans 2-3 minutes until they turn dark). Add on top of beets.
4) Sprinkle with Parmesan
5) Combine orange juice, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle over top when ready to serve.
Note: Sliced oranges would go nicely on this salad.

Head on over to Sweetnick's for today's ARF roundup!

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