Here we go: from farmer’s market to my tummy with lotsa yummy, yummy.
Dang, my professionalism knows no bounds.
Anyway, at my last Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market I came across these fabulous beets. Aren’t they gorgeous? I was drawn to them like Audrey Hepburn to Tiffany’s. (Name that movie.)
I love beets. I didn’t used to; I used to think they were icky. But in the last five years or so I’ve come to really appreciate them. First off, they’re extremely healthy and rich with vitamins. Second, they’re sweet like candy. Third, they’ve got a beautiful silky texture to them and can practically melt in your mouth. [Julia Kitchen’s recipe for chocolate cake includes one fresh beet, and you would not believe the difference it makes. A GOOD difference.–Ed.]
After I got them home I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. So I took inventory of my produce. That’s what I do when I don’t have any ideas. I take inventory and check for what’s older and in need of some TLC. That’s when I saw it—the pomelo. That big golden, gloriously proud looking pomelo was just silently waiting there for me to notice its righteousness. (For those that don’t know what a pomelo is, it’s a really, really big grapefruit. It’s also a fabulous restaurant in San Francisco, but that’s another story.)
I saw that pomelo and it reminded me of my teenage years living in Colombia, South America (with all of its tropical salads) and that’s when it struck me …
… a citrus and beet salad with some sweet red onions and hint of mint was the perfect solution.
So that’s what I made for the BBQ dinner that Solano Mag staffers had at my house after our big hike last week. We also had flank steak with chimichurri along with some other sides, but this beet salad was my favorite.
BEET + POMELO SALAD
3-4 medium beets, roasted and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 pomelo, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced (any sweet onion will do)
Fresh mint, chopped
Fresh cracked pepper
dressing (I don’t measure my salad dressings, so forgive me if these aren’t 100% precise)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sweet honey mustard
1/8 cup sweet sushi vinegar
People prepare beets many different ways, but I prefer to roast them in tin foil. For several reasons: 1) I can roast all my beets at once and either freeze or refrigerate what I don’t use for later use; 2) It makes for super easy cleanup, and 3) It requires practically no work (my favorite part).
1. Cut the stem off each beet and wrap each bulb individually in tin foil. Place all wrapped bulbs on a baking sheet and pop them into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. (Pour yourself a glass of wine, go watch TV and smooch with your sweetie for an hour. It’s a better way to pass the time than slaving in the kitchen over something silly like beets.) Once they’re done, just set them out to cool and then refrigerate until you’re ready to use them. EASY!
2. Peel the pomelo and slice into bite-sized pieces. Peel the beets (the skins should actually slip right off with just a little pressure from your fingers) and cut into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice your onion. Place beets, pomelo and onions in a salad bowl or platter.
3. Assemble the salad dressing by first dropping the mustard into a bowl and then adding the vinegar. Give it a swirl to mix together. Finally, drizzle in the olive oil while you’re whisking and mix it together. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Garnish with lots of fresh mint, (which I forgot to add in the photo above before taking its picture. Too many people were clamoring to eat.) Sprinkle some kosher salt and crack some pepper over it and serve.
Voila! A terrific spring salad inspired by my childhood in South America. Salud!