I don't know why I'm spending my lunches waxing rhapsodically about beets and the farmers that grow them, but here I go again. You know that when you get beets you should eat the greens pretty quickly, but the beets themselves will hang out in your fridge for a while. You can shred and freeze them for later use, you can roast them and put them on or in a pizza, or you can make a tasty appetizer. What I recently learned was that you can also love them raw. All thanks to Martha.
Even though I work at a thrift shop, I'm still pretty frugal about shopping there. I always check the clearance section when I get to work, and rarely scan the racks (oh who am I kidding--I check out the kitchen section all. the. time). Whenever I see good magazines in the clearance rack, I snap them up. I mean, it's the same thing year after year; people always want to declutter their space and find new crock pot or grill recipes. Only the trendy colors and vegetables (talking 'bout you, kale) change.
This is why I bought a couple of old issues of Martha Stewart Living--I figured I could find an idea or two for seasonal foods. Late one night, while reading the March 1998 issue in between an article about building your own stone wall and an article about ordering seeds and bulbs from foreign catalogs, I read about shaving raw beets and tossing them with a balsamic vinaigrette. The next morning I dutifully carried down the March 2004 issue and prepared to follow the recipe. (Did you notice it was a different issue? You're doing better than me. I thought I'd hallucinated the whole balsamic-marinated shaved beet thing. What, you don't hallucinate about shaving beets? What do you hallucinate about?) Because I was feeling lazy, I didn't walk back upstairs to get the correct year, I just winged it. Then I winged it again the next day since it was so good.
This is easy, this is delicious, this is raw . . . give it a try. The worst that will happen is your kitchen will look like an abattoir. I've got a dark counter so I have no idea how bad it really could look.
Open-faced Shaved Beet Sandwiches (makes lunch for 1) (inspired by Martha Stewart Living Magazine, March 1998)
You know, I don't even think I'm going to write up the recipe much--it's so easy.
1 medium beet
salt and pepper
butter or buttery spread
salad greens and chopped red onion
cheeses (I've tried Colby Jack, feta, and goat--all were good)
Take a beet, peel it, grab a Benriner or mandolin or sharp knife and make wafer-thin slices. Place in a bowl. Toss with a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinaigrette, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and set aside for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
Make an open-faced sandwich by layering buttered bread with greens, beets, and cheese. Eat with a knife and fork. Also good without the bread, over greens as a salad, topped with a bit of red onion and cheese.