Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook recently asked me a bunch of questions pertaining to food and blogging, one of which was, “What ingredients are you never without?” My answer, while honest, sounded a tad boring to me: garlic, flat leaf parsley, vinegars, and olive oil. Sure, they are the basics, but kind of blah, right?
Wrong. This beet salad from Wrightfood involves all of those basic ingredients plus 1, beets. Amazing food! I sometimes forget to listen to my own wise ways that it is simple peasant food that often is the best. The recipe came from a Basque tapas restaurant in Seattle so it falls squarely in the peasant food realm, and in my favorite part of the world, the Mediterranean.
While it seems hardly fair for such a simple salad to be claimed by such a small group of people, I will give them their due and call it a “Basque” salad. Having never come across this specific combination for beets, it could easily be a traditional preparation that has been hiding in the Pyrenees mountains all these years!
Wrightfood’s recipe called for sherry vinegar, but since all I had was my homebrewed white wine vinegar (made predominantly with a semi-sweet riesling wine so it had a bit of a sweetness to it) I used that. Fantastic! Letting the “dressing” ingredients “swap phone numbers” has Wrightfood advised is the key to the whole dish.
Basque Beet Salad with Garlic and Parsley
2 large beets, washed and roots and stems trimmed (allow 1 inch of stem to prevent bleeding)
1 large clove garlic, minced very fine
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced very fine
good white wine vinegar
good olive oil
Bring large pot of water to boil and place beets in water. Cook 25-40 minutes until beets slip off of a fork easily. Drain and set aside for 5 minutes. Rub off skins and stems and slice as thinly as possible using a knife or mandolin. Arrange on platter overlapping slightly and sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and salt. Drizzle vinegar and olive oil over all and allow to sit at least 10 minutes, preferably in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and serve.
Recipes currently inspiring me: