“WHAT! you haven’t done a post in 13 days, and all you give us is lousy sliced beets? shame on you Matt, shame – especially after that April Fools post you did last time.” I can hear you say.
Ohhh, but wait. These are the best beets I have ever eaten. EVER. I love beets too, so this isn’t exactly the first time I have cooked them.
Wrightfood has been on vacation. On vacation to the wonderful, sunny, some say almost tropical destination of…
Yep. Whilst the rest of the company I work for was sunning themselves in Baja Mexico, we were at home finishing up a deck remodel. It wasn’t all bad though to be honest- we took the week of work (since everyone else did..) and got a bunch of stuff done – including the makings of what will hopefully be a pretty great vegetable garden this year. Our first time growing anything other than tomatoes and a few herbs – and we are excited. More on that later however.
So back to the beets.
In this week off, Danika’s parents took our son for a couple of days – to help us get a few things done. What that meant was that we got a date night. We also got to sleep in too. The date night was spent at one of my favorite local haunts – Harvest Vine. A pretty darn authentic Basque tapas joint. There is a ton of new restaurants that we want to eat our way through, but somehow we always get drawn back here – and not just because it is within walking distance of our gaff. We love the food there. Very clean, simple, the kind of dishes where you taste remarkable individual flavors, yet the whole dish is harmonious. We have always had great service there too.
On the menu that night was this basic beet salad. Why the heck not we thought – a nice little start to the meal. A “nice little start” just doesn’t do this sexy little number justice though to be honest. We kept talking about it all through the meal – and we had some pretty bloody incredible stuff that night too.
Not sure if the waiter had been drinking or not, but he was rather forthcoming in spilling the details on a few dishes. Thanks mate. This was one of them that he talked about. A dish that is almost impossible to screw up. It just really relies on one thing:
No, scratch that, REALLY good ingredients.
Lets be honest though, dishes with only a few ingredients always do.
So what is in this great beet dish? Well, just some boiled beets, a great olive oil, sherry vinegar, fresh garlic, parsley, and some sea salt.
That is it. The only thing cooked is the beets, and those are served cold. The hardest thing with this dish? Letting it sit for 10 minutes so all the flavors get their groove going together.
Right, here it is. Perhaps one of the simplest, and certainly one of the tastiest things I have posted so far. Thanks to Harvest Vine for this one!
Beet Salad Recipe with olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic and parsley
4 medium sized beets. A variety of colors are always a joy, but just red is fine
1 clove of garlic
1 small handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
really good olive oil
really good sherry vinegar
great sea salt – a sexy little fleur de sel if you have it
Wash the beets, just to remove any dirt. Get a large pan of water boiling. Toss in the beets, and boil gently until tender – you should be able to skewer one through without too much resistance. For an average sized beet – this might take around 3o to 40 minutes.
When the beets are cooked, remove from the water, and let them cool just enough to touch. Rub each beet with a towel to remove the skin. This is best done when the beet is really pretty hot – the skin comes off far easier. Sure, you might burn your hands, but it is worth it. Allow the beets to cool.
Once the beets are cool, break out the mandolin slicer. Set it to perhaps the thinnest setting, and start slicing the beets acrossways.
Finely dice the garlic. Me being rather anal with stuff like this – because you see the garlic on top of the beets, try and get a pretty consistent, even looking dice. Finely chop the parlsey.
To assemble – lay the slices of beet out on a plate. Sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the beets. Do the same with a little sea salt. I find it is far more effective to do this from a great height – you get a much more even spread that way, instead of concentrating your seasonings in one spot. Don’t get all flouncy Jamie Oliver with it though!
To finish, drizzle a good glug of sherry vinegar over, and then do the same with the olive oil.
Let it sit for ten minutes to let the flavors swap phone numbers.
This is best made around the time you want to eat it. I find that boiled beets can last a couple of days in the fridge no problem, but doing so with them sliced isn’t a great idea, they loose some texture for sure. I make this salad to take to work, and just hike along a whole beet and my Japanese slicer. Sure I might look like a prat in the office kitchen, slicing up the beets, but it is worth it. Let your office workers eat their twinkies and make jokes.