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Friday, July 1, 2011

Chunky Beets with Icy Red Onions - French Fridays with Dorie

I'll admit to being a little cranky about this recipe. I like beet salad as well as the next person, but we just made a salad last week, and I wanted to try something different. Also, I was a little put off by the whole concept of the iced onions. Why couldn't I just slice a red onion and call it good? Obedient blogger that I am, I made the salad and iced the onions, and a very good salad it turned out to be.

I picked up some baby beets at the Farmer's Market last Sunday. After being roasted for a half-hour, they pierced easily with a knife. I put them back for another 5 minutes just to be on the safe side, but my first clue that something was wrong was when I tried to slip the skins off. They didn't slip off. I had to pare the skins off, and that wasn't easy. They turned out to be al dente, which turns out not to be my preferred mode for beets. But they were edible.

Meanwhile, I sliced the onion, put it in ice water, and stored it in the refrigerator. This step turned out not to be very onerous after all--easily done while the beets are roasting (or boiling, if you prefer, but I like a roasted beet myself).

The beets marinate in a simple vinaigrette--just a little honey distinguishes it from the classic French mixture--for about an hour. After that, it's just a matter of assembly. I arranged the beets on salad greens instead of the suggested arugula because I had greens and didn't have arugula. I sprinkled fresh thyme rather than fresh oregano over the plate for the same reason.

And the onions? I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong. Rinsing them and soaking them in ice water gives them an entirely different character: crispier and milder. I only wish that I'd scattered them more profusely on the beets.

The only thing that I'd do differently next time is cook the beets longer. Much as I liked this salad, though, I'm glad that we're not doing another salad next week. A woman can't live on greens alone.

1 comment:

  1. I've been around the block a few times but I had never done this with the onions either. I like raw onion... my family though went on and on about how mild and lovely the onions were. Now I will have to do this all the time. But, as you said, its not that hard.