Today I would like to tell you about two vegetable salads that I have been devouring recently because I am in a CSA and absolutely drowning in delicious fresh vegetables. Seriously you guys, I drastically overestimated my household’s ability to eat vegetables. And I love vegetables! I’m known for it! But holy mother of God. They have sent me two heads of lettuce per week. Yesterday was my third pick-up, we got a double share because we’re out of town next week, and we still have a whole head of lettuce from last week! No human can eat this much lettuce.
Anyway. Let’s discuss the humble beet.
I love the humble beet. I know people who think it tastes like dirt, but that mostly makes me think they’ve never tasted candy (which is, for the record, what the humble beet actually tastes like). I mostly eat beets steamed and plain. They don’t need anything else; they’re perfect. However, I’m trying to branch out and get creative with my vegetables, so I decided that I would use my CSA beets in a beet salad. I chose one from Jenny and Andy’s list of top ten side dishes: roasted beets with honey, thyme, and feta. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of those three flavors together, but the salad is fantastic. The freshness of the thyme pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the beets, and the feta adds a nice savory kick. Here’s how you make it.
1) Roast beets. The recipe says to roast them at 425 for 40 minutes, but I got weird results – my larger beets were undercooked and my small beet was overcooked. I might stick to steaming in the future.
2) Cool and chop.
3) Add a drizzle of honey, a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Add generously of fresh thyme and feta cheese crumbles. Toss. Refrigerate. Devour.
The other salad I’ve been eating is a green been and potato salad, the brainchild of my best friend’s boyfriend’s family, who were kind enough to invite me to join them for their July 4th celebration. I ate it, loved it, asked for the recipe, and promptly made up a batch. Here’s how you make it. You’ll need:
Small potatoes (you can buy little potatoes in bags at the grocery store)
Boil your potatoes until done (it’s nice to boil them close to the state you’d want them in for mashing, because then when you assemble the salad potatoey goodness gets all over everything). While you’re doing this, blanch your green beans. This means: submerge them in boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes, then pull them out and throw them violently into a bowl of ice water. (This sounds like more trouble than it is. I did it for the first time for this recipe and found it to be very easy and an excellent method of cooking green beans.) Also while you are boiling your potatoes, sautee a couple cloves of garlic, chopped fine, in a fair amount of olive oil with some salt. This is your dressing, so be generous. Cook the garlic until it’s reached the level of doneness you like best – mine browned, which is not what I wanted to happen.
Now we assemble! Slice your potatoes in half longways and toss together the potatoes, green beans, garlic and oil, black pepper, a shake or two of garlic powder, and a healthy amount of chopped fresh basil. Let it sit for a few minutes and then taste it. Mine definitely needed more salt, yours may have other needs. Doctor it up, let it cool and enjoy!