Secret Beet Salad with Tofu

December 20, 2012

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When I opened the refrigerator and found half a head of red leaf lettuce, a few leaves of kale, one beet root gone soft, several carrots, a couple of celery ribs, a brick of tofu, and a few sprigs of dill, this salad was born.

Setting the lettuce aside, I chopped the kale into ribbons, diced up everything else, made a basic unsweetened tahini dressing with lemon juice, onion powder, and salt (see recipe here), and tossed it altogether. Setting aside a little of the mixture for immediate consumption over lettuce, the rest went back into the fridge in a covered container so that the salt and acid in the dressing could do their magic, bringing the juices out of the veggies to mingle with the dill and marinate the tofu.

Here’s my beet secret: I’ll often buy one beet root and leave it in the crisper for weeks. When fresh and firm, a raw beet is a daunting proposition, assertively reminiscent of iron and dirt. But as it ages and softens (but before it goes moldy and turns into a science project) the flavor sweetens and mellows. Peel it first though. You’ll have pink fingers but it’s worth it.

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