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Beet Salad #1

butterscotch's picture

Recent comments on the Ruby Beet Salad in FC #70 prompted me to post one of my own favorites. After a lot of beet salad making, I've concluded that regular old red beets are great for cold borscht and in that wonderful Middle Eastern standard shredded beet and yogurt salad with dill. In green salads, golden, orange, or pink beets are much, much nicer. They don't bleed purple juice onto everything and their  colors contrast beautifully with most other salad veggies (not weirdly, like purple beets). Most important, though, gold/orange beets don't seem to acquire that extremely intense, candylike sweetness that purple beets take on when roasted. That sweetness, I think, can really overwhelm and unbalance a salad.



Toss together: 5 cups mesclun; 1 flavorful orange (peeled, thinly sliced, slices quartered); 6 cherry tomatoes, halved; 1/2 cup cold sliced beets, slices quartered (golden or orange beets preferred); 1/2 cup pecans on fire*. Dress with a combination of extra virgin olive oil, orange juice, and white balsamic vinegar.

Pecans on Fire

1 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 1/4 tsp. sweet paprika, 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper; 1 pound extra-large pecan halves; 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 quart canola oil.

Mix the seasonings in a large bowl. Blanch the pecans in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain well. Coat the nuts with the confectioners' sugar.

Heat the oil in a large pot over moderately high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Add the pecans and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pecans to the seasoning mixture and toss until well coated. Let cool completely before serving.

Note: The recipe for pecans on fire makes a large quantity--but they are addictive and good for eating on their own or in other salads. Making the full amount and freezing the leftovers allows you to have the salad any time you crave it.

Gretchen's picture

(post #30398, reply #1 of 5)

A beet and mache salad we had in Paris was dressed with walnut oil, and lives in my memory as one of the most delicious and beautiful I ever had.  It also had walnuts on the salad, much like your salad.


butterscotch's picture

(post #30398, reply #3 of 5)

That sounds so lovely, Gretchen. I haven't tried beets with walnuts or walnut oil yet, but, after reading your post, I will.

gjander's picture

(post #30398, reply #2 of 5)

I have made those beautiful yellow or orange beets for company several times over the last year or so.  I usually roast them with an assortment of other brightly colored vegetables such as baby carrots, artichokes, etc.  I like to sprinkle them with fennel seed but usually use fresh thyme instead because my wife is not a big fennel fan.  The usual reaction is that people first comment on how attractive the assortment is, and then ask what the yellow/golden things are.  When I reveal they are beets most people are surprised.  My only complaint is that Whole Foods is too proud of those things!

butterscotch's picture

(post #30398, reply #4 of 5)

Color in food is very important to me, and golden and orange beets just knock me out. I live in southern California where the farmers markets almost always have beautiful piles of them. Lately, though, I haven't seen many. The recent heavy rains here have just wreaked havoc on local farming and the availability of a lot of crops. I will take a look at my local Whole Foods and see if it is still selling the beets I like.

Geoffchef's picture

(post #30398, reply #5 of 5)

Thanks Butterscotch! I've printed this out and will try it. I have had golden beets once and loved them, but they may be another thing I have to grow to get.



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