A beetroot salad, in British television, seems to be shorthand for punishment or penance. However, faced with a spring season where the calendar had gotten far out ahead of the weather, that’s precisely what we made.
Cold days had prevented the emergence of sweet asparagus or spring onions, so we sat in the test kitchen staring at winter storage celeriac, parsnips, carrots and beetroot. They seemed more suited to a fall roast tossed with thyme than a light spring salad.
Our first decision was to serve them raw, the second was a light poppyseed vinaigrette. Shaving them thin on the smallest side of our box grater eliminated thick , tough shreds of fibrous root vegetables. With the grater already out, we grated onion rather than dairy to thicken our dressing.
Faced with several vinegars, Sam, part of our #testkitchen crew, selected a mildly acidic, slightly sweet Autumn Apple from Sapore. It was the perfect choice. Winter never tasted so much like spring.
*Yes, this blog post title is a terrible pun. If one of you had brought me more coffee it could have been avoided.
Sam’s Root Vegetable Slaw
The beets turn the rest of the vegetables a beautiful bright ruby color.
- 1 cup grated beet
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 cup grated celery root
- 1 cup grated parsnip
- 3 tbs grated onion
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1-2 tbs honey
- 1/4 cup Autumn Apple* or Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
*Autumn Apple vinegar is available in DC or online at Sapore. Commonly available cider vinegars tend to be bitter and acidic. Sherry vinegar would be a closer match to the autumn apple.
- Toss together grated vegetables in a large bowl.
- Make dressing: whisk together onion, dry mustard, paprika, poppy seeds, honey and Autumn Apple vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Whisk oil into dressing in a thin stream to form a creamy emulsion.
- Dress slaw and let rest 10-20 minutes before serving to let flavors develop. These vegetables are bold and heavy, so add a little more dressing than you would to fresh greens.
- Serve topped with grated lemon zest.