One of the keys to the visual “wow” is the use of a vegetable peeler to cut petal-thin slices of raw beet. I bought a bunch of multi-colored beets from the local farmers market, and the one that initially held the least appeal when I removed the skin ended up being just beautiful!
And, yes, even I, devout opponent of peeling vegetables, relents on beets; the skin is just too thick and sharp-tasting for a good result. When I peeled this beet’s reddish skin, the flesh was white, and I thought, “ho-hum” this won’t add much pizzazz. But when I began to shear off slivers with my vegetable peeler, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a burst of red and white rings. It was glorious.
Adding local seasonal strawberries and a honey-mustard dressing infused with pickled onions, well, it was a true feast for the senses.
A note on the dressing: If you don’t have time to pickle the onions for an hour, just do it for as long as you can — put them in the vinegar first, do everything else for the recipe and then add them to the dressing and toss. Even a few minutes will make a difference.
Pretty, Tasty, Healthy Summer Salad
For the salad:
1 head Boston or bibb lettuce, rinsed, drained and torn
½ cup strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1 beet, peeled, and cut in thin “petals” using a vegetable peeler
⅓ cup roasted, salted almonds
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
For the dressing:
1 small onion, sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
Pinch of salt, generous sprinkling of pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons honey mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Make the dressing: Place the onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder and sugar into a sealable container. Add a bit of water, if needed, to cover the onions. Set it aside for about an hour.
Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the onions and shake well. Set aside.
Place all the salad ingredients in a medium-sized, shallow bowl, and then toss with the dressing, including a generous scoop of the onions. Use a small amount at first to avoid overdressing; save the surplus for future use.