Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beet Salad

Beet salad is very familiar dish for those from Ukraine. Modern Ukrainian cuisine is greatly influenced by Jewish cuisine and beet salad is one of many Jewish dishes popular there.

I can't recall single family gathering at my mother-in-law house without this salad. There are several variations of it and all are good. It's raisin, prunes, dry cranberry, walnut, pecan or almond that can be added there. It's can be mixed with mayonnaise and garlic, or with onion caramelized in vegetable (olive) oil. It's rather spread than salad but traditionally we call it salad. It's great on a top of any kind of cracker, toasted bread or dry galette. Although using canned beets for this recipe is not a crime, I would strongly suggest to use real stuff - fresh beet roots. When buying beets in a store, try to pick the darkest - those are the most delicious.

Beet Salad

3 fresh beet roots, medium size
5-7 garlic cloves
15 pitted prunes
4-5 tablespoons of mayonnaise
salt to taste (optional)
walnuts (optional)

- Put beets in a pot with a plenty of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer with a lid ajar for about 1.5-2 hours of until soft throughout.
- Put beets under cold water to cool it down, peel.
- Using box grater, grate beets. It's up to you to use fine or course side of grater. This time I used fine one. Strain all the excess of the beet juice/liquid.
- Add finely minced garlic, chopped prunes and mayo and mix everything nicely. Taste and add some salt if you want. Enjoy!

I like to use microplane to grate garlic.

Chopping prunes

I served with salad garnished with walnuts. As an option, chopped walnuts can also be mixed in the salad. It will add another dimention to the dish and make it even tastier.

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