I can’t believe it’s already Friday again. This month is passing by at lightning speed. And other than Dorie recipes, I haven’t cooked anything interesting this month.
I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned it before, but beets are one of my favorite vegetables. I didn’t discover this until I was out of my parents’ house and cooking on my own, but once I had tasted their sweet earthy goodness, I was hooked.
My favorite way to eat beets is as beet salad, and my favorite recipe for them includes walnuts and lots of mustardy vinaigrette. Here’s that recipe. However, I’m always open to new ideas. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is Lime and Honey Beet Salad, so I was happy to try something different.
I prefer beets roasted to steamed, so that’s how I cooked them. After an hour in the oven, the skin usually slips right off, making a non-fuss preparation. Cookbooks always caution about the possibility of stained fingers when peeling the beets this way, but I’ve never had it happen.
The beets are cut into wedges and tossed with a refreshing vinaigrette spiked with lime zest and lime juice along with honey (not my own yet). Some chopped fresh herbs add some color. I used chives and thyme from my backyard herb garden.
The recipe made less than I thought. I used one bunch of beets but didn’t weigh it, so it must have been less than a pound. Two of us finished this off as a side in one meal.
I really liked Dorie’s beet salad. It had zing from the lime and an extra dose of sweetness from the honey (beets are so sweet on their own). I don’t think this version will displace my usual mustardy version as my go-to recipe, but it merits a place in the summer rotation.
I also tried the Grated Carrot Salad from AMFT this week. I was desperate for a fast vegetable side dish, and carrots seemed to be the only vegetable in the refrigerator. I didn’t have the two salads at the same meal, but they would have paired nicely. The carrot salad was delicious.
If you’d like the recipes for either of these salads, we don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. You won’t be sorry.
To read about other lime and honey beet salads made this week, check out the other bloggers’ links at French Fridays with Dorie.
I’ve been on vacation this week, touring D.C. I think I did more in 4 days than some people might do in a week or more (travelogue coming early next week). Yesterday, we landed at my sister Jane’s house in Maryland for a weekend of visiting before heading home.
Jane arranged to have all the ingredients on hand for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Chunky Beets and Icy Red Onions, so I wouldn’t have to miss a post. Also, she, like me, adores a good beet salad. It was also a little bit selfish, but in a good way.
Beet salad is a favorite of mine. I have several in my repertoire, and hoped to find a new favorite in this recipe. We roasted the beets, because I think they taste best that way. The roasting caramelizes the sugar in the beets, giving an earthy sweetness to the beets that I enjoy. I’m not really a fan of raw onions, but, for this recipe, the onions are briefly soaked in water, and then you change the bathwater, and soak them further with water and ice. This treatment dramatically softened the sharp taste of the onions while keeping the onions crisp. For herbs, we added Dorie’s preferred oregano, plucked from Jane’s herbs outside. Finally, we crumbled some goat cheese into the salad.
Jane, Howard, and I all agreed on the final verdict. This beet salad was passable, but nothing special. The vinaigrette lacked the bite we all prefer (we thought it needed a lot more mustard). So, while we’ll finish this up over the course of the weekend, I’m not sure it earns a place in my beet salad rotation. Here’s a link to my favorite version of beet salad.
By the way, we had an excellent food day today. We had lunch at the very edgy restaurant Volt in downtown Frederick. It was a delicious and very creative meal in a striking setting. We ended the meal with a tour of the kitchen, which was fun. Dinner was at the opposite end of the sophistication scale. We ate burgers, fries, and shakes on the picnic tables outside Freez King, also in Frederick. Yum! And, I got to ride to dinner on the back of my brother-in-law Danny’s Harley, only the second motorcycle ride in my life. It was a thrill.
Other participating bloggers will also share their thoughts on the same recipe. You can find links to their posts at the LYL for this recipe at French Fridays with Dorie.