Thursday, 27 September 2012

Seedy Carrot & Beet Slaw

I was out for dinner with a group of women the other night at a local restaurant.  The focus of the menu is local, fresh and healthy so I was not surprised to see beets incorporated in an appetizer.  One of the people with me said “what is a beet? is it a root plant? how is it grown?”  I was so surprised to hear someone unfamiliar with such a classic Ontario vegetable.  Discussion ensued among all the guests about favourite recipes and how to best prepare.  When I mentioned how much I like raw beets the entire table stated they had never heard of such a thing.  We often enjoy raw beets in different salads but this is one of my favourites.  It’s a simple one, but very satisfying with few ingredients and few calories.

Luke loves to help me make it because it involves his favourite kitchen appliance: the food processor.  A few years ago Don and the kids went shopping for a birthday gift for me.  Somehow they ended up in Williams Sonoma and an awesome salesperson guided their purchase.  She told Don, “when it comes to kitchen appliances, it’s like power tools. Only buy the best and with lots of power.”  Now the average shopper might have seen this as a gimmick but for a guy who never cooks anything it made perfect sense.  Wherever that salesperson is now, I owe them a big thank you for the high quality appliances that make my cooking easier and more fun.

A few thoughts on the salad: you can make it up to a day in advance, making it ideal for potlucks or weekday lunches.  It makes a great side to a sandwich, but I’m keen to just eat it on its own.  The seeds used can be mixed and matched to suit your preferences.  Hemp seeds are an incredible source of protein, Omega fats, amino acids and minerals.  They are a little pricey but well worth the addition if you’re eating this salad as your main.  Pumpkin seeds, sunflower and flax are all great additions as well.  The carrots were a rainbow variety which made things pretty on the plate but are not necessary for the overall success.

Seedy Carrot and Beet Slaw

¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 shallot minced (about ¼ cup)
Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper

4 peeled beets
4 carrots
½ cup seeds (hemp, flax, sunflower, pumpkin)
½ cup crumbled feta

In a mason jar, combine all dressing ingredients and shake.  Shred beets and carrots either in food processor or on grater. 
Pour desired amount of dressing over vegetables and top with seeds and feta.  Enjoy!

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