One of the blessings of moving into our new house over a year ago was that the backyard has ample room for gardening. My parents were elated to have the opportunity to plant back in the spring while I was still in school, and I was, of course, more elated at the prospect of harvesting, cooking and eating as soon as the plants were ready and school was out.
With school just around the corner, the time has come to harvest. One of my favorite things about harvest time is salad picked from the garden just before it’s prepared for lunch. This year our tomatoes haven’t done so well, but the beets have made up for them.
We have been having the privilege to have beet salad at least twice every week. It’s delicious. So, I’d like to share this super simple recipe of a Brazilian staple.
4 medium/large beet bulbs (Note: When shopping for beets it’s best to select the ones with the leaves still attached. This indicates that the beets are fresher. The fresher the beets the more tender they are resulting in the best salad.)
1/2 large onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 large lime
salt to taste
1. Remove leaves and roots from the beets, and wash them thoroughly. Cut beets in half and cook for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker (or boil for approximately 20-25 minutes in a regular pot).
2. Once the beets have been cooked to a firm (but tender) consistency remove them from the pot and allow to cool. Once cooled, the skin should slip right off. (the process of peeling beets leaves one such a gorgeous pink stain that one will be proud to wear for the rest of the day because the salad was most certainly worth it.)
3. Thickly julienne the beets. This step is very important because the secret to the perfect beet salad is in the size of the beets once cut. The slices should not be too thick nor too fine as former will cause a overload of beet flavor and the latter a soggy salad with an ‘interesting’ texture. (Photos above provide a better idea of ideal size, though I cannot yet cut them perfectly like mother.)
4. Season the salad by slicing the onion and adding it to the salad. Add lemon juice, salt and vegetable oil and mix thoroughly.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: the salad can be kept refrigerated and will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
Did you plant a garden this year?
How did it go?