Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beet Salad

If you think you don't like beets I dare you to try them like this. They are roasted and sliced paper thin. You toss them in a red wine vinaigrette and eat them as a cold salad. They are delicious! The secret is slicing them very, very thin. I think most people hate beets because they are in big chunks and they are usually served hot. Come on, just cause you hated them when you were a kid doesn't mean you shouldn't give them another chance. I used to hate green beans because my Mom thought they came in a can and now I know they come in the fresh produce aisle and you don't cook them until they are grey!

When I was a kid we ate this salad all the time at Kim's house. Teta Mitcica (Aunty) always made them with small whole canned beets (only Aylmer canned beets and only Unico red wine vinegar if you must know!) and I loved it. I like using the fresh roasted beets now but, if you want to use the canned go ahead, they are both delicious.

This is me and Kim at Kim's house. (look at that cool textured straw wallpaper. This was the early 70's)
 We would never be allowed to eat beets with these fancy dresses on! Just so ya know.

You will Need:

  • 6 small beets (I think the smaller ones are sweeter)
  • tin foil
  • mandolin to thin slicing
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1: take washed beets and wrap them well in two sheets of foil. You can also rub a bit of olive oil on them but it's not necessary. Place foil pouch on a baking tray in case you get any leakage.

Step 2: bake them at 350 degrees F. Depending on their size they can take between 1 hour to an hour and a half.  You can squeeze them at 1 hour and if they are still hard put them back for another 1/2 hour.

Step 3: while they are still warm you can slice off the root end and just rub off the skin. It should come off in your hands but if you want to use a small paring knife to help it along go for it. Yes, your hands will be red for like an hour, it goes away when you wash.  

Step 3: slice them with a mandolin. I have a cheap one that sits over a bowl. Be very careful when slicing as the blades are sharp and I have heard of many people hurting themselves. If you cut your hand you won't like beets anymore so focus and go nice and slowly. I also slice slowly so I get nice looking slices.

Step 4: In a bowl add red wine vinegar and good olive oil ( I use a 2 part olive oil to 1 part vinegar ratio typically) You want a sour red wine vinegar and good olive oil. Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp of sugar. Then taste it. If its too dry add more vinegar and oil. I find it hard to give you an exact measurement for oil and vinegar here because it depends on the size of the beets and their sweetness. You must taste it. The tiny bit of sugar is really important I promise. I have also found that you can add a splash of  regular old balsamic vinegar to this as well. It is sweet and tart so works well.

Tip of the day: Never eat beets with a white shirt on!


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