Happy Monday! Wow, what a long day! I’m so glad to be home and playing around in the kitchen. Sometimes cooking is just so relaxing and therapeutic. There’s something so nice about chopping and mixing and creating. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day. When the ingredients are as bright and colorful as the ones in the salad I made this evening, that makes it even better!
I got four little golden beets in my box of produce last Wednesday, and they’ve been waiting patiently in the fridge. Beets are a food that I absolutely HATED as a kid. I don’t know if it was overly flamboyant red juice or the fact that we usually ate the kind that came in a can. I did not like them. Asked to describe a beet, I would likely have said that it tasted like sugary dirt. That’s not high praise.
In case you are wondering, by the way, I do know what dirt tastes like. I have a memory of being very young, probably about four years old, and munching on some ant hill with the preacher’s son. He went by the name of “John Boy.” Hopefully, he doesn’t use that name anymore. I always think of him when I hear “Son of a Preacher Man!” I will admit that despite our shared ant hill eating experience, we haven’t stayed in touch. I can’t recommend ant hill, but I guess it seemed more gourmet than plain old dirt. I don’t remember ever munching on a boring old chunk of mud. Only the best would do!
As with so many of the foods I hated as a child, like turnips, I now love beets! I did not have an epiphany with beets in the way that I did with turnips. It wasn’t love at first bite. Instead, beets have taken longer to win my love. They’ve grown on me. I’ve grown accustomed to their taste.
If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just wrap them in some aluminum foil, roast them in the oven and then slice them up on top of a weeknight salad. Every once in awhile, however, I decide to try something a bit more “beetcentric.” Tonight, I decided to use some of the fresh dill from yesterday’s soup making and see what I could come up with. About 40 minutes later, I had a great salad with the spicy bite of mustard, the freshness of dill and the sweetness of beets. I can’t ever resist throwing in a few nuts, so there is the smallest hint of toasted walnuts on this salad too. Here’s what I came up with:
Dillicious Golden Beet and Red Onion Salad
4 golden beets
3 bay leaves
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp. coarse dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chopped toasted walnuts
Prepping the Beets
Scrub beets and remove all but about an inch of the tops. Leave the root ends intact. Steam beets along with the bay leaves for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Rinse the beets immediately in cold water and set them aside to cool. When beets have cooled enough to handle, cut off the tops and root ends. Using the edge of your knife, scrape off the skins. Cut each beet into eight wedges.
Making the Dressing
Place mustard, vinegar, dill and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Easy!!
Putting it Together
Place chopped onions and beet wedges in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Mix until the onion and beets are coated in the dressing. Sprinkle the walnuts on top. Done!
This makes 4 unofficial 1 point servings.
I think the vibrant color of the golden beets and the pretty red onion go so well together. I would probably use a Vidalia or Spanish onion if I had red beets instead of the golden variety, but I just think these two make a beautiful pair!
This salad will be great tomorrow in a pita! I may toss some feta in with it too. It was awesome tonight as a side dish, and I had lots of fun making it. There was just enough chopping to help me unwind. Perfect!
All this talk about a food that I used to hate as a kid, has made me wonder: Is there a food that your “kid self” hated that you now love? You’ve heard about two of mine– turnips and beets. I guess you’ve sort of heard about three if you count ant hill, but I don’t quite think it belongs in the food category.
I’ve got to get to bed because I need to be up extra early in the morning. The first few days of the time change are always such an adjustment. I didn’t fall asleep as early as I would have liked last night, so tonight’s tea is definitely going to be of the chamomile variety. Sweet dreams to you!! G’night!