Cruising the outer rows in the grocery store, I can’t help but notice the price of lettuce has sky rocketed. Not only has it become cost prohibitive, it is just not that good looking. What I need is a way to extend my pathetic lettuce supply – and here it is.
A vegetable that sits quietly on the display, not bothering anybody but still looking good despite being harvested in late fall, is the beet. Beets are very underrated as a vegetable and rarely find their way onto the plate at restaurants or when people are “over for dinner”. Rather, they are eaten in the privacy of our homes – secretly. Most people actually like beets – they just don’t talk about it.
The following is a really simple way to prepare a beet salad to augment the bit of lettuce that you can salvage and afford. It is good enough to eat with your friends. Get your beets out of the back room of secrecy and share them with your world. I used red and yellow beets for this simple salad.
This is also a good place to use those “finishing” salts you have been given for Christmas but don’t know where to use them. I am using a “Merlot” finishing salt.
Composed Beet Salad with White Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette
(serves four as a starter or side salad)
1 pound beets, trimmed
1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Trim beets leaving about an inch of stem together with the tails. Scrub and put into a baking dish just big enough to hold the beets with 1/4″ of water. Cover and bake until beets are tender. Winter beets tend to take longer to cook so allow about 45 minutes. Peel when cool enough to handle.
2. While the beets are baking, put thinly slice onions into a small bowl with both the white wine vinegar and the white balsamic to marinate. This process takes the “sting” out of the onions.
3. If the beets are not too big slice them in 1/4″ thick rounds. If they are large, quarter them and slice across the quarters.
4. Portion lettuce onto four salad plates. Arrange beets on lettuce. Remove onions from vinegar (reserving vinegar) and sprinkle over beets and lettuce.
5. Whisk two tablespoons olive oil into reserved vinegar. Add pepper to taste. Evenly spoon vinaigrette onto each salad (use it all). Now, you can sprinkle some finishing salt artfully over each plate.
That is it. C’est simple. And so good. You will thank me.
Thanks for following.