Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Best Ever Beet Salad

One of the hazards of living under the same roof with me is you never know just what you're going to come home to. 

There is a good chance of coming home to me napping on the dog and just as fair a chance I will come running at the fella to insist he taste whatever thing it is that I'm cooking.  But every once in a while just to remind him that he lives with a crazy person he will come home to me doing something absolutely nutty with food. 

On this particular evening he came home to me yelling from the kitchen “Hey honey come in here and take a picture of this, it's awesome.”  He knows enough to enter rooms with a certain amount of trepidation when I'm talking to the food so who knows what he thought he was getting into.  It's been a while since I shaved celery so he probably thought he was safe.

“Doesn't this look like a bowl of guts?  And it's purple!”  I said with glee in my voice while thrusting at him  this giant bowl of shredded beets that did indeed look rather grotesque and bloody.  The fella took some pictures while keeping a safe distance from my mess, all the while giving me the face reserved for moments when you wonder what you've gotten yourself into and how soon you get get out of them.

The fun of making this meal however doesn't end there, the best thing about these shredded beets is they were about to get even more interesting.  Did you know that when you add tahini, yogurt and lemon juice to beets not only do you get an amazing salad but the beets turn the most unbelievable shade of magenta?  And there are few things I love more than eating purple things so you can only imagine how many times I've submitting the men in my life to this beet creation since I discovered it.  I mean what is not to love?  It is easy, very tasty and almost painfully good for you.  Thank you once Mark Bittman, master of the exciting salad!

If you don't enjoy being purple as much as I do borrow a child or a food processor attachment that will do the dirty work of beet shredding for you.  But believe me when I say this salad is worth the mess.  And it goes particularly well with some chicken thighs or bone in chicken pieces dredged in zatar seasoning and put in the oven until cooked through.  A dash of salt and pepper on the chicken and you have a richly flavored bit of chicken that took no effort.  This is my new favorite meal, I never imagined falling in love with beets like this.

What kind of wine possibly pairs with this crazy meal?  Um, who cares I was in the mood for Torrontes the Norto being a delicious but subtle tangy tropical fruit bomb with just enough bit to make it interesting but such well balanced fruit its a little to easy to drink.  And at about $10 it is a great value.  I'll save the pricey but amazing Michel Torino's Don David also known as the best Torrontes for a special occasion and gladly stick to the Norto for a weekday dinner.

These three things came together better than I could have hoped and made for a small Middle Eastern tinged food vacation.  Just what I could use in the middle of a winter that seems like it will never end. 

So don't give up on beets until you give a try to this salad or Lindsay's orzo dish up over on Forkful of News.  They are both so tasty you will forget you are eating vegetables.  And while you're over there check out my article about Argan oil, a crazy little known oil that just might change the way you cook.  It's worth clicking on especially if you're having a bad day, if only to look at the pictures of tree climbing goats.

Best Ever Beet Salad

3 large beets, peeled
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon zatar seasoning

Grate the beets by hand or with a food processor and then place in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the yogurt and tahini in a separate small bowl.  When well combined add lemon juice and zatar seasoning and stir well.  Toss the yogurt mixture into the grated beets.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper is desired.

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