Cold Beet Salad, a la Ukraine , 1 Comment

Who wants to eat a piping-hot bowl of borscht in the middle of the summer? (Granted, if you’re Ukrainian, the answer to that will always be a ‘yes,’ but I digress) The summer months are made for consuming cooler foods, and an easy way to get your vegetables is with a chilled salad. My mother’s recipe for Ukrainian beet salad, whose pronunciation is closest to the word ‘vinaigrette,’ is chock-full of nutrients, and a great meatless option for a meal!

What you'll need:
2 large potatoes
3 medium-sized beets, greens removed
½ cup white or red beans, dry
4 dill pickles
Sunflower oil, to taste
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

      1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water. When you are ready to start cooking, drain the water from the beans, rinse, and boil them off in fresh water. Once cooked, drain them and let them sit until they have cooled to room temperature.

      2. Roast the potatoes and beets in the oven. As this is a handed-down recipe, there are no indicators for temperature or time while baking (as my mother’s stove never had a temperature dial, only a fire), so start at 400 and periodically poke the root vegetables with a toothpick to determine readiness. Once they are baked, remove from the oven, and let cool to room temperature, then peel both.

      3. Chop the potatoes, beets, and pickles into bite-size pieces, and then mix with the beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with sunflower oil and lemon juice (but be careful not to use too much lemon, as it can quickly become overpowering. It should be just enough to cut the sweetness of the beets), and add salt and pepper if you need it. As we say in the old country, smachnoho!