Tonight, we are opting for a simple favorite: sirloin steak seared in a cast iron skillet in butter with a beet salad and zucchini spears. I’m hungry just thinking about it, especially for the beet salad. It is super easy to make and does well in the refrigerator for days if it’s not consumed all at once.
This side dish is a keeper and a repeater…the beets are sweet and tangy from the thinly sliced red onions that have been marinated in apple cider vinegar. Once you add in walnuts and crumbled blue cheese the salad will rock your flavor world. If you are not into strong cheese, that’s okay…goat cheese is a great alternative and will complement the flavor of the beets.
Here’s is what you will need:
- 6 medium beets
- ½ of a medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced*
- Apple Cider Vinegar*, enough to cover sliced onions (1 cup if not more)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil*
- ½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 10 turns freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- Blue Cheese or Goat Cheese, to taste
- Walnuts, to taste
- Thinly slice half of the red onion and place into a bowl. Pour enough vinegar into the bowl to cover the red onions. Let marinate for at least 30 – 45 minutes.
- Fill a large sauce pot with water. Wash beets with skins on, trim off stems and place in pot and bring to a boil, turn heat down and cook for approximately 30 minutes* until tender but firm, making sure water continues to gently boil. Check beets at 25 minutes for doneness.
- At this point, remove cooked beets from water, place in sieve and let cool.
- Once beets have cooled, remove the skins by wrapping the beet in a paper towel* and pulling the skin off the beet. Once you have removed the skins and cut away any remaining stems, begin slicing and then dicing the beet into small ½” pieces.
- Add the diced beets into a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and ½ tsp. of salt.
- Using your hands pick up the red onions from the bowl you have been marinating them in, making sure not to squeeze out the apple cider vinegar juices from the red onions, then place the onions that are dripping juices into the bowl with beets.
- Add in freshly ground pepper (about 10 turns) and toss everything together. Now, try the salad. If you feel the beets needs more tartness add in more apple cider vinegar (from the bowl that you soaked the red onions in) 1 Tbsp. at a time.
- Taste again and if needed add in more vinegar, salt, and/or pepper.
I always place the walnuts and blue cheese in separate bowls on the table and let everyone take as much or as little as they want. I do not want to be the one who determines the taste they are going for.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a naturally sweet and tart vinegar which will help balance the onion taste. My favorite brand is Bragg Organic.
You can use a mandolin to slice your onions…this will help get the onions more uniform in size. I cut my onions at 1/8″. But please be careful to keep your fingers away from the blades. Accidents happen quickly. I know! I have a OXO V-Blade Mandolin Slicer and love IT!
My preferred olive oil is Bono Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 100% Product of Italy.
Large beets can take up to 45 minutes to cook. Also, you may want to cover the pot while cooking the beets so the water doesn’t evaporate.
The paper towel will help keep your fingers (hands) from staining red. However, the red stain is easy to remove just squeeze half of a lemon into your hands and then rub your hands and fingers together. Then wash your hands with soap. You can also try baking soda with water. Again, rub and then rinse.
This is a great recipe to make in the morning so that all the flavors can marry by dinnertime.
I cannot stress enough the importance of tasting your cooking. As with any recipe this is just a guideline. Your taste buds will determine if you need to add more salt, pepper or even more vinegar. Make it your own!
From my kitchen to yours…enjoy and bon appétit!