Two beet salads from Mark Bittman
I just got Mark Bittman’s book Kitchen Express, which is full of fast, seasonal recipes. The thing I like most about this cook book is that it’s written the way I cook. It calls for “a few beets” and “some goat cheese” instead of exact cups and tablespoons. He assumes you’re using your judgement, and I personally appreciate the agency.
Here’s a beet and goat cheese salad from this cookbook:
Start with a few cooked beets cut into wedges. (He says to microwave them for five minutes, but if you’re wave-averse like me, you can easily boil and peel them.) Then, he says:
Mix some crumbled goat cheese with the juice of a lemon, a handful of chopped fresh dill, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a half cup of plain yogurt, salt and pepper to taste. Dollop the dressing over the beets and sprinkle with chopped celery (and celery leaves if you have them), some salt, and lemon zest.
On his NYT Minimalist Blog he offers a dairy-free salad, this time using roasted beets. He first describes how to do this:
It’s easy and nearly mess-free: rinse the beets, wrap them individually in foil while still wet and roast until tender. At that point they can be refrigerated, still wrapped, for a week or so; once cooled, the tough outer peel almost falls off in your hands.
Next he describes adding a simple dressing puree made from walnuts, garlic and fresh orange juice.
A bit more adventuresome is a dressing of walnuts, garlic and fresh orange juice. Note that all of these have some bitterness or acidity, which counter the sweetness of beets beautifully. To tame the garlic, I cook it quickly, along with the walnuts; toasting always makes nuts nuttier. This makes the purée smoother tasting as well.