Thursday, March 4, 2010
Occasionally I look at a menu and find a dish that sets off a craving. It happened to me this past weekend when I spotted a roasted beet tower on the appetizer menu of a restaurant where I was enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon on the patio. I envisioned layers upon layers of red, golden and bulls blood (pink) beets. What showed up was three very thin beet slices, each separated by a solid inch of an avocado and tomato mixture. Don’t get me wrong, I love avocados, but when I was expecting roasted beets, a plate of guacamole was pretty disappointing.
Lucky for me, the folks over at Clarkson Potter recently sent me a copy of the new Everyday Food cookbook – “Fresh Flavor Fast.” I subscribe to the Everyday Food magazine and buy their books because they have simple, get-down-to-business recipes. I may love spending hours on a dish on a quiet Saturday afternoon, but Monday through Friday, I need realistic recipes that take into account the maybe 30 minutes I have to prepare a meal.
Fresh Flavor Fast is everything I love about Everyday Food. It’s packed with new ideas to get you out of the cooking ruts that are so easy to get into when speed and simplicity are top priorities. I wasn’t expecting a side dish or salad to be the first recipe I made from the book, but upon arriving home from my disappointing roasted beet tower experience, I opened up the book and found this recipe for shaved beet salad.
The salad took no more than 10 minutes to put together and totally satiated my beet craving. Raw beets are not for everyone so make sure you slice them thinly. I used a mix of red and golden beets, but feel free to use all red or any combination you prefer. If you are using a mix, make sure you toss them with the dressing separately or the red beets will turn everything else red too.
Shaved Beet Salad
Adapted from Fresh Flavor Fast
1 pound beets, sliced thinly on a mandoline
1 t orange zest
2 T fresh orange juice
2 t white wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1/2 t sugar
Coarse salt (kosher or Maldon) and pepper
Whisk together the zest, juice, vinegar, oil and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Toss the beets with the dressing. If you are using different colored beets, toss each color separately so that the red beets don’t bleed their color on the lighter beets. Arrange beets on individual plates and serve.