Raw Beet Salad with Carrots and Ginger

 Adapted from Cookbook #54: How to Cook Everything (2008, 10th Anniversary Edition)

Recipe: Raw Beet Salad with Carrots and Ginger

Well, look at this--a page 210 recipe.  And I get to cook with the contents of the CSA box.  If you're joining me late, page 210 was my commitment all of 2010.  I cooked every page 210 from every cookbook I own in honor of 2010 (I was hard pressed to find cookbooks with over 2000 pages in them, so I settled on 210, and even then, I had to resort to page 120 for many cookbooks).  And I vowed this year that if I acquired any new cookbooks--which I (predictably) did--I would continue the tradition of cooking page 210.

So here we are with page 210 from Mark Bittman's wonderful and comprehensive cookbook, How to Cook EverythingMark Bittman is an amazing man.  He is not a chef, but he is a cook.  He is a journalist and a food lover, and as such, he writes a weekly column ("The Minimalist") for the New York Times.  He is an advocate of mindful eating, and his book Food Matters urges us to become more aware of the impact our food choices have on our bodies and our environments.

His latest column is on whole wheat pancakes that I may have to give a try, if only because Bittman and I share the same sentiment that pancakes are little more than a vehicle for maple syrup and butter.  These featured pancakes however, he says, are much more than that--they are chewy, wholesome goodness.  So much so that you won't really miss the maple syrup or butter.  If a pancake can produce that kind of conversion, I may have to become one of the faithful.

But let's get back to the recipe before me today.  Raw beets.  Ooh, those are nice.  They're less sweet than the boiled or roasted (or, gasp, the canned) versions, and the cooking time on this salad is, well, nonexistent, as there is no cooking at all.  Instead, grab the food processor and let it do all the work.  This salad took fewer than 15 minutes to make.  And most of that time was spent peeling the beets and carrots with the hand held peeler*.  Well, I guess I did have to take the time to unscrew the lid from the mustard.

*perhaps you'll want to wear kitchen gloves as you do this as your fingers will be stained a fantastic vermilion, which I kind of like.

Eating this salad made me feel somewhat rabbity, as the raw vegetables were fresh and crisp.  Such a feeling is quite pleasant mid-winter.  It also made me feel somewhat virtuous.  I ate this for lunch on Saturday and am taking the leftovers to work on Monday, so I get to extend this feel-good feeling all the way into the workweek.  Which makes me happy.  Now if only that Monday didn't come so quickly.

Here's to a good, healthy, and fresh week!

One Year Ago:  Potatoes and Chanterelles Baked in Cream

Raw Beet Salad with Carrots and Ginger
Adapted from  How to Cook Everything

4 servings

1/2 pound beets, preferably small
1/2 pound carrots
2 large shallots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1.  Peel the beets, the carrots and the shallots. Combine them in a food processor and pulse carefully until the beets and carrots are shredded; do not purée. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the shallots; combine.) Scrape into a bowl.

2.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the ginger, mustard, oil, and lime juice and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss in the cilantro and serve.


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