Saturday, July 24, 2010

Staying Cool With Raw Beet Salad

We're back in the kitchen here, for another segment of Climate Change Cookery.

For most of my adult life, I have been a passive lover of beets. Passive in the sense of eating them only when they present themselves in a prepared form--at a salad bar or in a pickle jar. I took their red color to signify the presence of important nutrients not necessarily present in other foods.

It never occurred to me to cook them myself until recently, and immediately a serious obstacle presented itself. They take a long time to cook, and in the middle of summer, in the middle of the unfolding climate change debacle, it's hard to contemplate boiling anything on the stove for long periods, or firing up the oven. Hot house, hot planet.

All of this was solved by friend Dorothy, who served a delicious raw beet salad at one of her dinners. Recipes can be found easily on the internet, but an improvised approach involves peeling and grating the beets, adding some olive oil and an acid like vinegar, lemon or orange juice, and throwing in some chopped parsley, ground up nuts, and something oniony like chives. Some recipes call for goat cheese. Another friend added corn and grated carrots to expand the nutritional aspect.

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