Everyone has one or two types of food that they could eat in a million different ways (or one way!) and never get sick of them. That ingredient that you find any excuse to add to a dish or is on standby in the fridge to accompany any meal. For some it could be eggs….eggs benedict, boiled, en cocotte, over easy, you name it. For others it could be rice or bread or cilantro. For me, it’s beets. I love beets. I love beets more than I love almost any other food, so salata od cikle (or beet salad) can almost always be found in my fridge…..and not the grey kind found in jars at the store (Although IF you are desperate, the only kind of canned beets I would recommend would be from Podravka, a Croatian company. And not just because its Croatian. The quality of those from other Central and Eastern European countries is pretty poor, in my opinion). It’s super simple to make and I usually prepare enough to last me through the week.
- onions (optional)
- olive oil
- white vinegar (apple cider vineger works as well, although changes the taste)
Wash and trim the beets if they come with their greens (don’t throw these out! you can saute them with garlic in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. deliš!). Boil or roast in a 375 degree oven until a knife easily pierces through. Unless I’m cooking other things–like a chicken or other root vegetables–I prefer to boil them because an oven uses up a lot more energy then the stovetop. When they are done cooking, leave them to the side to cool. Once they have cooled enough for you to handle (they should still be a bit warm), begin peeling the skin (which should literally slide right off). Cut them up into bite sized portions and add to your container. If you like onions, slice them up and add to the container, as well. Finally add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. You could also add some parsley for color, if you like. The beets shouldn’t drown in the mixture, but wade in the shallow end. 😉
Side note: You can “can” beets, but you must do it with a pressure cooker since they are low acid. When you cook, the higher the temperature, the more nutrients you kill, so I personally don’t think it’s worth it. Plus you can’t “beat” the taste of freshly made beet salad!