I admit, I was one of those people who used to hate beets. I always thought they tasted like dirt. Of course, most of my experiences with beets came from childhood when my mother would serve pickled beets out of a can. Last year we started pan roasting beets with some bacon grease and seasoned salt and I realized they weren’t as bad as I remembered (though honestly, I still thought they had a very faint dirt taste). So this year one of our goals was to figure out how to incorporate more beets into our diet. They are easy to grow, and in fact we have some that the previous owners of our house left planted in the garden.
Beets have been plentiful in our Growing Washington foodbox for the past few weeks and so the other night, I went searching for recipes. I didn’t find any that sounded just right, so I took a few different recipe ideas and just made something up.
- 1 bunch of beets (any color or type)
- A handful of mint leaves
- 1-2Tbsp Champagne vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- Crumbled feta cheese
1. Peel the beets and with a very sharp knife, carefully slice the beets as thinly as you can. You can also do this on a very sharp mandoline.
2. Place the beets in a bowl and toss with the vinegar and olive oil.
3. Crumble the feta cheese over the beets and then top with minced mint leaves.
4. Crack a little salt over the salad, serve, and enjoy.
Chef’s Notes: This is one of those recipes that came together perfectly. You needed every component: the olive oil, the vinegar, the cheese, the mint, and the beets. I will no longer say that I don’t like beets. We had some orange essence olive oil left over from our last trip to California, so I used that, and it was perfect. The orange scented olive oil and the vinegar really lightened and brightened the beets. Apres Vin at many of the local farmers markets sells a lemon infused grapeseed oil and that would be excellent with this dish as well. As an added benefit, there is no heat involved in preparing this dish, so it is great for those hot summer days.