Pickled Beet Salad
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© Paden Reich
The cheater’s way to make this is to buy the pickled beets at the store. But let’s remember who we are and why we are looking at this recipe. If you’re like me, you love beets and you are eager to pickle them yourself. This is a fresh, tasty salad that’s even better when you know you have tackled each step, starting with the beets. The flavor you create can’t be purchased in a store. That’s the aspect I like most about cooking—it’s the personal touch. In any event, you’ll see the beets pick up a nice flavor and the feta offers a contrast in texture that literally melts on your tongue. This salad, perfect with grilled chicken, almost glows on the plate with freshness and tang. And a little secret of mine? The pickling liquid makes a nice salad dressing.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the beets in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and toss gently to coat. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
2. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; cool, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Using a paper towel, gently rub the beets to remove the peels. Cut each beet into 6 wedges.
4. Combine the vinegar, honey, shallot, ginger, salt, pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a 1-quart jar. Cover with the lid, and shake vigorously until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the beets; cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
5. Remove the beets from the jar, reserving the liquid in the jar. Place 1 1/2 cups of the lettuce on each of 4 plates. Drizzle the pickling liquid evenly over the lettuce. Top the salads evenly with the pickled beets and feta.
If you can’t find baby beets, bigger ones will do if you peel them and cut them into smaller pieces. The beets may be stored in the jar for up to 4 days.
You can easily substitute white wine vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar.
1 pound assorted baby beets (about 1 inch wide), trimmed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups loosely packed baby lettuce leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Hands on time
10 Hours, 10 Minutes, including 8 Hours Chilling