So much of what people know about food is derived from their growing-up experiences. In my particular case, spicy Sichuan fare was often on the menu for dinner. Therefore, I’m a complete beet newb. My impression of these root vegetables was formed by countless encounters in salad bars: eerie, amorphous, almost-pulsating blobs most unnatural in color. I thought they were dyed in fact, until I questioned the sense behind dying a vegetable an awful unpalatable shade of… glistening fuschia.
Well, it turns out, they’re really really good. Last week, I bought a bunch from my local farmer’s market and roasted the heck out of them, until the balsamic glaze I’d brushed them with (you know, just in case I didn’t like their taste after all) charred and crisped. Their flavor, beneath the sweet-sour of the vinegar, was oddly pleasant, earthy. Yum. They snuck their way into many sandwiches after that.
This week, I brazenly decided to experiment a step further and conquer the Raw Beet. And that’s what I present you with today: a slaw made of shredded beets and carrots, tossed with a shallot-y, lime-y dressing and topped with sesame seeds. Let’s just say, there’s no turning back. I’m forever a convert.
BEET CARROT SLAW
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Theoretically serves 4, but it’s so refreshing that I find myself snacking on it throughout the day.
For the dressing:
1 ¾ T minched shallots
1 ½ T plus 1 t apple cider vinegar
1 T lime juice
½ T soy sauce
½ t finely grated ginger
¼ t finely grated lime peel
⅙ cup olive oil
For the salt mix:
¾ t ground coriander
1 T toasted sesame seeds
⅜ t salt
½ lb carrots, peeled
3 medium beets, peeled
Whisk together the shallots, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and lime peel. Let sit for 10 minutes, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Cover and chill.
Lightly toast the ground coriander by stirring it in a pan over low heat until very aromatic, about 2 minutes. Then combine with the sesame seeds and salt.
Shred the carrots and beets. Toss in a light coating of the dressing and 1 tablespoon of the salt mix. Let the slaw marinate for about half an hour.
Toss in more dressing and salt mix to taste. Then enjoy.
And I’ve completely changed my mind about the color of beets. In fact, I think I liked this recipe as much as I did because the beets, in the overpowering manner in which they touch everything, dyed the carrots a fantastical shade. Beet pink is decidedly not fuschia. It’s neon! Which is so on-point with this season’s fashion trends.
I’ve taken to roasting beets lately in a garlicky balsamic vinegary marinade and they’re delicious, underline underline underline. Yes, to more beet adventures!