I love having a garden and being able to pick fresh vegetables and herbs. Right now we have baby beets ready to pick. Last night I prepared salads at Eloise's request for a ladies night at work. For one of the selections I put together a beet salad using every part of the beet.
10 baby beets with stems and tops
10 leaves of fresh mint
15 shavings of Ossau-Iraty cheese
1/2 cup of fresh dill fronds
1/3 cup of fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup of fresh oregano leaves
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 tsp of red chile flakes
1 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
Pickled beet stems
1 cup of beet stems ( approx. 8 oz)
1 cup of seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup of malt vinegar
1 tbsp of coriander
1 tbsp of mustard seed
1 tbsp of salt
For the beets, cut the stems away close the beet root, wash the beets and place them in a small pot. Cover the beets with water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook the beets for about 45 minutes or until they are soft. Strain the beets, allow them to cool slightly and peel.
For the beet tops, remove the stems from the leaves and cut them into 1 inch battons (segments), wash and set aside in a small bowl. In a small pot add all the ingredients for the pickle except the stems and salt and bring to a boil. Once the pickling liquid boils, pour it over the beet stems, making sure the stems are submersed, and finish with the salt. Cover and let the stems sit. They will keep in the pickling liquid for days or months if stored in an airtight container.
Wash and dry the leaves. Rough chop a few of the big leaves and leave the smaller leaves whole. To plate the salad, slice the big beets and quarter the small ones to create a variety of pattern. Arrange the pickled stems and beet leaves over the beets. Garnish with mint leaves, shaved cheese, salt and pepper. Right before serving, spoon the dill Chimichurri over the top.