Beets are such a beautiful vegetable. Originally grown for their leaves, they come in a wide variety of colors: red, crimson, yellow, even candy-cane striped. Beets are notable for their sweetness- they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable. Yet, they are chock full of nutritional benefits and low in calories.
The flavor of beets varies with the age and the size. During the growing season, we enjoy tender, baby beets with their greens. Beets harvested in the fall, if properly stored, will keep for months. I must confess that beets are an often under-utilized vegetable patiently waiting for me in my root cellar.
Until now. This bright, colorful salad made with raw, grated beets, carrots, and finely chopped apples was a big hit at a recent pot-luck supper in Ellsworth. It was so delicious, I had to have the recipe. Our gracious hostess Ruth, invited the cook to share the preparation with us.
Carey writes that the “recipe is in Helen Nearing’s book, Simple Foods for the Good Life. You can mix and match ingredients.” She suggests a tart, green apple like Granny Smith – we enjoyed this salad prepared with Keepsake, a winter storage apple. Celeraic, another root vegetable, works well instead of the celery. For those with a nut allergy, sunflower seeds are a delicious addition. Dried cranberries instead of raisins are good too.
This elegant salad is really a snap to prepare. For a more mouth-pleasing texture, I recommend using a hand-grater (instead of a food processor) to shred the beets and carrots. And just as Carey says, and I’m sure Helen would agree, Beet Salad is a tasty way to savor those often neglected roots!
- 2 medium beets, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 carrot, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 tart apples, finely chopped
- 2 pieces celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisens
- 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Peel and grate the beets and carrots. Chop the apples and celery. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Stir in the raisins. Add the fruit and vegetables and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with the toasted, chopped walnuts. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper and serve. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.