Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Beet and arugula salad
I don't think I would like life much without salad. I have enough issues with the birth-to-death cycle, as it is. But no fresh leaves, no spiky vinaigrettes? Watch me fading away.
My friend Marijke introduced me to raw beetroot. Why I had never considered eating it raw is beyond me. Certainly my mom didn't like beetroot much (perhaps because she was WW2 child she ate too much of it - soft and vinegary, out of a jar?), and so we never ate it, growing up. I followed Marijke's lead, about four years ago, and discovered belatedly a wonderful vegetable: crunchy, sweet, vaguely bitter. And one of the best things you could feed your body.
This simple salad sits up and takes notice. Leafy and peppery arugula has anti-carcinogenic, -viral and bacterial properties. Endive is loaded with potassium. And the quick-pickled beets are an antioxidant powerhouse.
1 bunch of arugula, washed and dried
1 head of Belgian endive, leaves separated
1/2 large beet, peeled and cut into batons
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Oodles of black pepper
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
Bigger pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Right. Set the cleaned and dried leaves aside. I wrap them loosely in a damp kitchen cloth and keep them in the fridge till I need them.
In a small bowl mix the vinegar with the sugar and salt and pepper, and drop the raw beet batons into the marinade. Ten minutes are fine, half an hour is better. Turn over every now and then.
In a large bowl whisk the sherry vinegar with the salt and sugar and then add the oil. Whisk till emulsified. Add black pepper. Put the leaves in the bowl and toss. Stack them immediately on a flat plate and add the beet pieces once they have been drip-dried.
(Especially good with a side of roast chicken and a drizzle of its pan juices over the salad at the last minute.)