Friday, June 30, 2006

Beet, Ginger, and Spinach Salad

Inspired by a salad I enjoyed at Gayle's, and having found some lovely organic beets at our Farmer's Market, I set about to make my own salad with beets, ginger, and spinach.

Brendon of Something In Season recently posed the question When Does a Recipe Become Blogable? As I like reading about how others develop their recipes, what works and what doesn't work for them, I say after (or even during) the first experiment. I always enjoy Alanna's "Next Time" comments on A Veggie Venture, where she details her ideas on how to improve a recipe she's made. A useful tool for recipe development, I'll be including similar "Next Time" notes in my posts. I also find it very educational when someone posts about a failed recipe or a failed recipe that they managed to turn around.

When I'm working on a new recipe, I often get carried away with tasting and adjusting and forget to make a strong mental note of the amount used. So in this recipe, I have to say the amounts are approximate.

I steamed my beets, unpeeled, with their tail left on and a little stump of leaf to keep in all the juices. After they were cool, I peeled and sliced them. I thinly sliced about 1 tbsp of red onion and soaked it in the juice of one lime (a Nigella trick from the Watermelon & Feta salad). I chopped about 2 tbsp of crystallized ginger into tiny cubes and added that to the lime juice-onion mix to soften.

I heated 1 tbsp olive oil and cooked 1 small minced garlic clove for 2 minutes then added 4-5 oz baby spinach, sauteed the spinach, and turned off the heat.

I mixed together the beets, onion-lime-ginger mix, and sauteed spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of ginger juice (a bottled product). I seasoned and tasted. Too acidic! And it needed more ginger. So I added 1 tsp of minced ginger and 1+ tbsp organic maple syrup, which worked wonders, containing the acidity and really brightening the sweetness of the beets and the freshness of the ginger.

The end result was delicious, although not really like Gayle's salad, which was mellower. The beets and ginger really are a winning combination and definitely benefited from the green, leafy spinach. Next time, I'll skip the lemon juice, cut back on the ginger juice, and remove the little stems from the baby spinach (purely aesthetic).


Blogger Alanna said...

How appropriate that "next time" comments are inaugurated with beets: this is the second summer I've felt half obsessed by them!

7:22 AM  

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