We had this amazing salad with a side of broiled seitan. It’s adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone, and she says it makes 4-6 servings. It made 3 for us, but we could have easily added more lettuce. I usually consider fresh mint a bit of an extravagance (since we always have cilantro and parsley around, they are no big deal), but the leftovers are great for this chicken dish, made with seitan instead. If you make the beets up to a few days before hand (step 1), this is very fast and easy – so I’m listing this as 1.5 hours and 30 minutes, since it is kind of both.
-1 1/2 lb beets
-grated zest of 1 lemon
-juice of one lemon
-3 tb minced red onion
-2 tb chopped parsley
-2 tb chopped cilantro
-1 tb chopped mint
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-salt and pepper to taste
-3 tb extra virgin olive oil
-4 generous handfuls salad greens
-1/4 cup good black olives, chopped or at least pitted
1. This is my favorite way to cook beets, from Bittman’s column in the NYT. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and simply wash the beets well. If they have their greens, cut them off so there is an inch or so still at the top (and then you can treat the greens like you would chard or spinach), and leave the tail. Put them in a baking dish – with nothing else in it – and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for an hour or more, until a knife goes through a beet easily. Then, let them cool. Then you can peel them with your bare hands, as the skins pretty much slip right off.
2. Cut the beets into sixths.
3. Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, onion, herbs, coriander, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste, and oil in a small bowl. Taste and adjust as needed.
4. Toss the beets with enough dressing to coat lightly.
5. Separately, toss the greens with the rest of the dressing and arrange on plates. Put the beets on top and scatter with the olives.