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Beautiful beets highlight of spring salad

June 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Food preparation, local food

As you may know, I love beets. So I was pretty excited when my Rolling Prairie options last week (told you I was behind) included beets plus two more favorites, sugar snap peas and dill weed. I decided I had to have those beets pronto.

Here are the beets beforehand:

I cropped the stems about 2 inches from the roots, and trimmed the roots to an inch or so, then simmered them for 20 minutes, until tender. (Length of time depends on size, and these were small.) I saved the greens for later. When the beets were tender, I doused them in cold water and slipped the skins off. This was thrilling, because beet skin removal tends to be an ordeal for me.

Here is a peeled beet in the salad:

I placed the beets, some whole and some halved, on top of a bed of lovely local lettuce, added a handful of the peas, which I didn’t even blanch, then tossed on some shredded cheese (mozzarella, which I had on hand and which was way too bland to stand up to the other, hardy flavors) and a pile of dill. I drizzled some kind of last-minute dressing over the top (white wine vinegar, an equal amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sugar). It was gorgeous.

Sadly, the salad was also disappointing. The textural combination was lovely, with the tender beets and lettuce complemented by the crunchy peas. But the beets needed a sharper cheese to counter their earthiness. The dressing, too, was missing something.

No matter. It was still a feast for my eyes and a pleasure to taste each individual vegetable for its own fine qualities, even if the mixture didn’t come together as anticipated. Big deal. Next time, I’ll go for one of my reliable favorites, but I’m glad for this salad, anyway. Even with its flaws, I’m sure I ate better than most people that night!

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Maxine

    Yes, you ate better than most. This salad definitely BEATS other foods even if it didn’t turn out quite as anticipated.