Market Salad of Beets, Carrots, Pickled Shallots, and Curly Endive

The summer heat and humidity is slowly encroaching.  And with it, the market shares are slowly shifting away from the days of leafy, leafy greens, and more toward the bounty of the summer harvest.  Now, we are not there yet.  But that’s nothing to be remorseful of either, because it is during these early summer days when a cool summer salad helps beat the heat on a balmy night such tonight as I sit here writing this post.

{More after the jump.}

Sometimes, it’s hard to be imaginative when we see the most basic of ingredients in markets: carrots, onions, greens, greens, greens.  It’s easy to overlook the staples. But when you have them this fresh, why not take advantage and feature them first and foremost. This salad combines fresh vegetables together, mingling raw and roasted, cooked and pickled, to get a variety of textures and flavors while keeping each ingredient distinct.

For this recipe, most of the produce is available at the market.  You’ll need a bunch of carrots, a head of curly endive, one onion, and a bunch of beets, along with a few extras.  Together, we’ll use these to make our market salad with beets, carrots, pickled shallots and curly endive. — Adam Gregory

Market Salad of Beets, Carrots, Pickled Shallots, and Curly Endive

Servings: 4

Cooking time: around 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes total

Ingredients for the Carrots:

  • 3 CSA carrots
  • 3 Regular carrots
  • 1 CSA Onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Ingredients for the Pickled Shallots:

  • 3 shallots
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 + ¼ tsp Sriracha chili sauce (or chili sauce of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Ingredients for the Yogurt Dressing:

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ¼  tsp garam masala
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • ⅛ cup water

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • ½ (roughly) of a CSA curly endive, washed
  • 1 CSA bunch of beets (or regular beets if you don’t have any left)
  • 1 + 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 + 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: Most everything in this recipe can be prepared a day in advance, and some things actually benefit from being prepared in advance, such as the pickled shallots. If you want to save time, feel free to take care of some of these steps the day or night before.

Directions:

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Roast the beets using the same method found in my earlier blog post for Beet Salad.

While you’re at it, peel the 3 regular supermarket carrots and roast them with the beets as well. These should take around 45 minutes.

Note that if you are lucky enough to have found Chioggia beets, you can actually peel these before you roast them.  These are the least messy beets that I have ever cooked! That’s partly because there is a thin white layer on the outside of most Chioggia beets, just under the skin, that doesn’t stain your hands. And even the pink beet layers don’t stain nearly as much as typical red beets do.

Next, make the pickling liquid for the shallots.  You’ll want to combine the vinegar, water, brown sugar, molasses, spices, chili sauce, salt and pepper in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Let this simmer for 1 minute, turn the heat off, and move off the stove to a bowl to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel 3 shallots cut them in half lengthwise, and slice them to get about ⅛” slices.

After the pickling liquid has cooled slightly, add the sliced shallots to the pickling liquid and allow them to sit for around 1 hour.  You’ll want to add them to the still warm liquid so that they will absorb the flavor more quickly, giving you a quick pickle that you can use sooner than later.

For the yogurt, toast the spices in your smallest pot or pan over a low heat for a minute or two until fragrant. Do not burn.

Add the ⅛ cup water, stir, and heat for 1 minute or until the liquid is reduced by half.  Turn off the heat and let the pan cool slightly, then add the orange juice to the pan, mix to combine, and then add the liquid to the yogurt.  Stir to combine and set aside.  Cooking the spices first will bring out flavor and keep you from having a raw spice bitterness in your dressing.

Slice the tops and tips off the roasted carrots and then slice on a diagonal to get long, ⅛ inch slices.  Peel and slice the CSA carrots in the same fashion.  Heat the butter in the pan over medium heat.  Add the CSA onion and CSA carrot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until just softened.  Add the roasted carrot, the balsamic vinegar, water, and honey.  Let the mixture form a glaze on the vegetables and remove.  Let cool.

Slice the roasted, peeled beets in half lengthwise, then into ⅛ inch slices.  Dress with the 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Finally, once all the cooked vegetables have cooled, and the pickles are ready, it’s time to assemble the salad.

Put a spoonful of the yogurt dressing on the bottom of a plate and spread it around.

Toss the curly endive leaves with the beets and their dressing.  Add more white balsamic vinegar and olive oil at this point if you like. Pile in the center of the plate. Then add the carrots, onions, and pickled shallots.

Now you’re ready to eat.

To make this market salad a more substantial meal, feel free to add any protein you like.  There are enough varied flavors to stand up to most any meat choice.  However, I feel either pork or roast chicken would work best with this summer salad.

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