Not only is the humble beet a nutritious powerhouse, it is beautiful to look at, delicious as well, and the recipe for “Beets with Greens & Slivered Apricots”, (page 357), also takes advantage of the tender greens. Once you have cooked the beets, the dish comes together quickly and easily, and although this was written to be a warm vegetable side dish, I kept envisioning it as a salad, so I changed things up a bit. The best news is, the recipe, as written, is oil-free, so no adjustments in that respect were necessary.
I agree with the recipe, that baking or roasting beets, as opposed to stovetop cooking, intensifies the flavor, and is the preferred method. Pressure cooking yields similar results as oven cooking, and I will use that method if I don’t want to turn the oven on and heat up the house. Since our house is so small (a 325 foot 5th wheel trailer), turning on the oven on a warm day is something I try to avoid.
The recipe calls for softening the apricots in hot water, which is probably necessary if the apricots are very tough and chewy, as some varieties are. The apricots I had were already very soft, and soaking them in hot water might have made them dissolve, so I skipped this step. Then, there are further instructions to simmer the pre-soaked apricots with the dressing; I skipped this step also. In fact, I did not simmer the dressing at all. I simply whisked the lemon juice and brown sugar together in a small bowl.
After cooking the greens until they were just slightly wilted (which only takes a couple of minutes), I placed them in a ring around a plate, placed the sliced beets in the center of the ring, arranged the slivered apricots on top of the greens, and sprinkled the dressing over all. I chilled the “salad” for about an hour before serving. This made for a very attractive, not to mention scrumptious, addition to our meal.
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
- No changes necessary!