Thursday, July 1, 2010

Week 3: Beet Salads, Cooked and Raw

Excuse me a moment while I finish a yummy sandwich: Hummus, cucumber (nom, nom, nom), radish and arugula on whole wheat pita. Dang, I'm going to have to make more hummus to go with the leftover vegetables.

It's been a busy week in the kitchen of Chez Swiss Chard -- temporarily dubbed Hotel de la Chard over the weekend for Caboodle's belated birthday sleepover party. Aside from the party cooking (pasta and salad dinner, chocolate souffle cupcakes, breakfast buffet with pancakes and home fries), the CSA-specific rundown went something like this:
  • Steamed peas
  • Grilled zucchini and summer squash
  • Plenty of salad (Romaine, arugula, mixed salad greens)
  • Stuff added to salad (radishes, summer squash)
  • Stuff added to sandwiches (radishes, lettuce, arugula)
  • Raw beet salad
  • Braised greens (collards and beets), and ...
  • 2 Chocolate zucchini cakes (wrapped and frozen for later this summer)
I like the fact that beets are a two-for-one deal. If you need ideas for the greens, remember that beets are related to Swiss chard, and you can use the greens in much the same way.

Having received beets both this week and last, we tried out two very different takes on beet salads. We'll start with Week 2's salad, pictured above. (We made just a half-batch, enough for 3 or 4 servings.)

Beet Salad With Oranges and Beet Greens
(adapted from Bon Appetit)

Leftovers taste fine, but the vibrant color fades with refrigeration.

6 medium beets, washed and trimmed, greens reserved
2 seedless oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast, steam or boil the beet roots, depending on your cooking preference and how hot it is in your kitchen. Cool, then peel the beets, and cut into wedges. Coarsely chop the greens, discarding the stems. Cook the greens in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, cool, and squeeze out any excess moisture. Combine the beets and greens in a bowl. Add the orange segments and sliced onion. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, and garlic; dress the salad. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

This week's salad:

Raw Beet Salad
(adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe, via Serious Eats)

1/2 lb beets
1/2 lb carrots
1/2 onion
1 Tbsp minced ginger root
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the beets, carrots, and onion. Combine them in a food processor and pulse until chopped, or grate the vegetables separately. Place in a bowl and add in the ginger. Combine the mustard, oil, and lime juice, and add to the salad, tossing to coat. Mix in the cilantro. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

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