First time I had beet salad: at Fraîche in Santa Monica during Restaurant Week.
Second time I had beet salad: last week, at my place.
Third time I had beet salad: the next morning, for breakfast.
I don’t know why I haven’t cooked beets before. They’re ubiquitous in Paris, both in restaurants and in markets, and their color is so bright and cheery despite being a root vegetable.
And, having been born with a sweet tooth, this is exactly my kind of salad. The beets have a vegetal sweetness that stops short of being sugary and the simple dressing gives it a fruitiness and tang that rounds out the earthy tones of the root vegetables.
Makes 2 servings.
1 large red beet
1 yellow beet
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
chives and parsley for garnish
Heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Scrub the red beet, yellow beet, and turnip thoroughly and wrap them individually in aluminium foil. Roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the roots. Check for doneness by poking with a fork; when done, the fork will slide easily to the center of the root. Remove from the oven and chill the roots, still wrapped in aluminium, in the refrigerator until cold.
When the roots are cold, remove them from the aluminium and peel the beets. You can do this by rubbing at the skin with a paper towel or by scraping the skin away with a butter knife; either way, the skin should come off easily.
Slice the red beet, yellow beet, and turnip into very thin rounds with a mandoline. If desired, you may also cut some of the beet into small wedges as pictured. Peel the carrot and slice into very thin strips with the mandoline or a vegetable peeler.
Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the slices, wedges, and strips of roots attractively on a plate. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with parsley leaves and chive sticks.
Beets will stain everything they touch, from cutting boards to kitchen towels to skin, and the stain will be difficult to get rid of. Use plastic cutting boards and paper towels when handling them.
Music to cook by: I’m Good, I’m Gone [Lykke Li // Youth Novels]