Beets

There are few vegetables that get as much negative press and hatred as beets (okra and eggplant might share top billing with beets).  I must admit that I was once of the haters.  Beets seemed a food that only old ladies ate, as I mostly remember my great, great Aunt Mabel eating them (and she died when I was still quite young) and they always seemed to ba sliced, slightly slimy, and pickled sweet.  Then I went away to college and one semester the food service ran out of money served only iceberg lettuce, canned beets, frozen peas, and cottage cheese on the salad bar for several weeks.  As the main dish was boiled pork (sometimes with horrifying “Hawaiian” sauce) I started eating beets by the plateful.  And lo and behold, they were delicious – or at least I could see the potential when they were topped with olive oil, a dash of vinegar, and plenty of salt.  Now, many years on, I love beets.  Boiled, roasted, baked, marinated, raw, in salads, pickled, in soups; however you do it beets are neat.  Try this salad.  Even confirmed “not a beet person” people like it.  And it is really, really good for you.

Beet and Carrot Salad with Tahini Ginger Dressing

  • 2 packed cups grated beets
  • 2 packed cups grated carrots
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 small clove garlic

In a large bowl mix together the carrots and beets.  In a small bowl mix together the tahini and olive oil, then add to the beets.  Using a microplane grater, grate the garlic and ginger.  Toss well to mix everything thoroughly.  Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, mix well.  Eat.  Yum.

If your problem with beets is aesthetic – if you, like my husband, hate that beets dye everything on the plate the same color – then try the other, non-red beets.  Chiogga beets are red and white striped, like a candy cane and golden beets are lovely.  Try mixing them half and half with potatoes, some chopped dill pickle, green onion, a bit of sour cream, salt, and pepper for a really special potato salad.

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