Cooking the beets and reducing the balsamic vinegar are steps that consume time. To save a bit of time, you can prepare the beets one day, peel them, store them covered in the fridge, and then use them on another day to make the salad. Sometimes, I’ll just make up a bunch of beets, eat some sprinkled with salt and pepper for supper, and then a couple of days later, I’ll use up more beets to make the salad. They peel easiest when they are warm, but I have peeled lots of beets cold from the fridge, and they do fine, too. We also eat the glazed beets as leftovers.
Life is about legitimate shortcuts.
Beets are very red. Caution with your clothes, apron, or favorite cutting board.
(For special diets like SCD and GAPS, the balsamic vinegar must not have anything in it at all except vinegar.)
Balsamic Beet Salad
Beets, 2-3 large or 4-6 small
Greens of choice (beet greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, endive, kale, a mixture, etc)
3/4-1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper, a dash or two
1/4 cup of nuts of choice, coarsely chopped (almonds or walnuts are great), more or less
1/4 cup of raisins, more or less depending on how many people you are serving
Optional: Chevre cheese, if you’re not on dietary restrictions. You could also toss in some cut grapes, blueberries, or sliced strawberries. Sauerkraut on top tastes great!
Either roast them in the oven or boil them covered in water. Both are good methods. Roasting provides a more complex, sweet flavor and nice texture to the beets, but they are more difficult to peel due to the “caramel” layer that forms just under the skin. Boiling allows the skins to be slipped off very easily, but the flavor and texture is not as fine as roasting. However, both methods work well, and we like both of them fine. Often, it depends on which is easier that day, the oven or the stove. If your beets are huge, they take a long time to cook. That’s why I often make them ahead of time.
- Roasting: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Cut off leaves and root end of beet. Rinse. Pat dry. Place on baking sheet. You may wrap them in foil if you’d like. You may even place all of them together in one foil wrapping. I don’t because it’s one more step, but you can. Bake until they are fork tender, about an hour, depending on size. Large beets may take much longer! Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and any stem you didn’t get off. Use a knife if you prefer.
- Boiling: Cut off leaves and root end of beet. Rinse. Place in a pot of water, enough to cover all beets. Bring water to a boil. Boil the beets until they are fork tender, about 40 minutes to an hour, or longer if they are huge. Remove from heat. Pour off water. Allow beets to cool. You may run cold water over them if you want. Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and remaining stem.
Slice beets as thick as you want. Or make into wedges. Or dice into medium, half-inch sized cubes. Set aside in a bowl that will tolerate heat.
Rinse desired greens and dry as well as you can. Place in a bowl that will tolerate heat. Use kitchen shears to cut greens into small, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
In a large skillet, pour balsamic vinegar and honey together. Whisk together well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Continue heating until the mixture thickens up, to about the consistency of a syrup. Depending on your brand of balsamic, this can take some extra time. When reduced, add in the olive oil and whisk well. Add salt and some pepper shakes. Whisk well. Add beets carefully to the hot mixture. Allow the beets to heat through and be thoroughly covered in dressing. Remove beets to a bowl that tolerates heat and set aside.
Use some of the still very hot leftover dressing to pour over the greens to wilt them just a little, if you’d like. You may not need all of it, depending on how many greens you had or how many beets you had. You sure don’t want your greens swimming!!!
Toss well to coat.
Put Salad Together:
Add beets to top of salad. Add some raisins and chopped nuts on top. Add other items as you enjoy them–fruit or sauerkraut.
Family “gustar” report:
My husband and I love this salad! My kids pick at it. My mother-in-law and father-in-law liked it so much, my MIL asked me to write down the recipe for her.
Here is the GAPS page which lists balsamic: http://gapsdiet.com/The_Diet.html
Have a great day!
In the draft bin: More Metametrix, GAPS Intro Stage 2 update