Monday, December 12, 2011

Golden Beet Salad

My Turkish greengrocer often has some surprising vegetables, and last week he was carrying something I had heard of but never seen locally—yellow beets. They look yellowy brown and indescript on the outside, but cut them open and they reveal gorgeous golden yellow flesh. The taste of the beets is, I think, less earthy and more subtle than the normal red variety.

I used a few of them to make beet soup, which was very tasty, but the yellow color faded and turned somewhat brownish. Maybe I cooked it too long.

The raw beet salad, however, was vibrant, fresh, and golden. It's super easy to make and could even turn beet haters into beet lovers.

Golden Beet Salad

This is inspired by a salad on Nigella Lawson's web site, made with red beets and dill (which I admit would be a great combo). However, I didn't have fresh dill on hand so I used parsley, and of course, my beets were yellow. The toasted mustard seeds add a slightly bitter note to the salad, balancing the sweetness of the beets, and the sour of the lemon juice. 

For an Asian-influenced variation, consider using cilantro (coriander leaf) and sweet wine vinegar to replace the parsley and lemon juice, with a bit of pickled ginger to garnish.

This serves two as an appetizer.

200 grams yellow beets (about 1 large beet)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, minced
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (However, I think a more neutral oil, or even no oil at all would make this salad even better.  )

  1. Use the julienne disc of your food processor to grate the beets, or you can just grate the beets using a box grater.
  2. Scoop it into a bowl and mix with the parsley, lemon juice, and oil.
  3. Toast the mustard seeds until they begin to pop, then add to the salad.
  4. Optionally, finish with a bit of flaky sea salt (like Maldon)

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