Sometimes I feel so uninspired in the kitchen. Those are the busy, crazy days when what to eat takes a backseat to getting all the other stuff done and food is just necessary fuel - the nothing fancy, auto-pilot meals. Nothing really wrong with that but it isn't a lot of fun. Other times the queue of recipes I am dying to try is so long that I worry (yes actually worry, lol) that I will forget some of them. A bit ridiculous for sure, but there you go, I am a bit ridiculous some of the time :) Anyway.... I am in the middle of one of the long-lists-of-exciting-ideas times and this salad was top of the list. Super easy, super healthy, super yummy, and really pretty, it will be in regular rotation at our house from now on.
I first made it for a lunch with my quilting group, a friend in the group made it the next night for a potluck party at church, then I made it again as part of a meal we shared with some very special friends. To be honest I am not certain if everyone is as in love with it as I am (because being in love I have rosy coloured glasses on) but it seemed to me it was a big hit.
The recipe is Fergus Henderson's Red Salad from Beyond Nose to Tail and if that doesn't make you want to try it I am at a loss for what to say. I mean nose to tail and red salad?! He calls it red salad but the whole time I was making it all I could think of was ruby slippers. I don't know so don't ask me but ruby, ruby, ruby was the word in my mind. Dorothy would have been delighted with this salad I am convinced.
The only downside is shredding the beets. I have to admit it makes everything ruby coloured - even if you use a food processor. Small price to pay so don't be faint hearted - kitchens and hands clean easily.
Fergus suggests garnishing this with a dollop of creme fraiche and a bit of chervil. Chervil escaped my search and I forgot about the creme fraiche so we ate the salad in its solitary ruby glory. If the chervil and creme fraiche make it better I don't think I can take it.
(inspired by Fergus Henderson's Red Salad from Beyond Nose to Tail)
2 medium sized beets (about 2" in diameter)
1/2 small red cabbage
1/4 red onion
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp small capers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice the red onion very finely and soak in a small bowl of very cold water to mellow the bite while you prepare the rest of the salad. Shred the beets - you want a fine shred. Shred or slice the cabbage very finely and add to the beets in a large-ish bowl. Drain the onions and add to the other vegetables.
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, capers and salt and pepper (I was quite generous with the pepper). Pour over the cabbage, beets, and onions and toss to combine. Everything becomes gorgeously ruby coloured and irresistibly beet-y. (I told you I was in love.)