Monday, December 13, 2010
Beet and Avocado Salad
Beets and avocados are friends.
My parents will not eat this dish. They have reasons, but for the sake of narrative flow I decree that they think of avocados as part of their cool California adulthood and beets as part of their homey Midwestern childhoods. I think of it as a way to integrate the two; most often when I've done something like trying to make tuna noodle casserole- with only a few modifications- and failing. (No tuna, whole wheat penne, vegetable broth instead of cream of mushroom soup. I don't know why I thought it would work.)
If such a rationalization doesn't make you feel all self-actualizing, you can sooth your palate with the dish's Cuban ancestry. Serves two.
Halve two beets, just cover with water, and simmer until tender. (20 minutes) It's awfully pretty when one of the beets is golden.
Mix 1/2 tsp chopped shallot, 1 pinch sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, and the juice of 1 lemon. (Or the juice of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon. Or the juice of a Seville lemon please tell me where you found Seville lemons thank you. I suppose you could substitute garlic if you don't have shallots.) Add salt and pepper to taste, and muddle the shallot within the dressing.
Cool the cooked beets and peel. If they are a little overcooked, the skins will slip right off. Otherwise, a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler is necessary. (Beets have onion-shaped layers that are tightly stuck together. Excessive cooking makes it possible to slide these layers off easily. Proper cooking has no such advantage.)
Slice the peeled beets. Arrange slices on two plates. Slice a perfect avocado into nice thick pieces. Add to the plates. Mix the dressing and dress the salads- add more salt if necessary.
I might follow through on beet week- I have two more recipes in the hopper, and y'all need to get your beet water from somewhere.
Tom Robbins has a four page rant on how we should emulate beet pigments- but I'll abbreviate if for you: beets will retain their color even in your biological waste products. Do not be alarmed. Art like "Another Brick in the Wall" would be unnecessary if we all ate more beets.