Running a blog is kind of like owning a small business, isn’t it? Sometimes I forget this. Until, oh, I make a decision to change the permissions on my Flickr images and every single link to every single photo on this site is broken. Oops. (And please excuse those broken image links as I work to get through them. Soon!)
There is no repair person to call, no assistant in the next room to do the drudge work. I had to suck it up and deal. It’s been an inconvenience, but life is full of those, right? I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how easily I get frustrated with situations. Somehow, this one didn’t get the better of me. (No tears!) There are hours ahead of fixing to do, but I’ve got my fingers, my toes, my health, my friends and my family. That’s right.
Originally, I was going to open this post praising this dish for reinvigorating my taste for beets. I realized not too long ago that beets don’t excite me the way some vegetables do – brussels sprouts and cauliflower, for instance. Some combination of their intense sweetness and earthy, mineral taste vaguely reminiscent of dirt leave something to be desired. I wanted to love them, though. And while this chimichurri was originally destined for these cauliflower steaks, once I realized how perfect a foil they would be on beets, there was no turning back. Chimichurri is intense, vibrant and puckery, full of the bright flavors of olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallots and garlic, rounded out with the heat of a few chile flakes – all good things to temper the earthy, sweet flavors of a beet. This is one instance where a mandoline is extra, extra helpful. Mandatory, even. Since we’re working with raw beets, slicing them paper-thin helps them marinate better in the chimichurri. (And don’t eat too much – beets can cause tummy upset!)
BEET CRUDO WITH CHIMICHURRI
Yield: about 4 appetizer servings
3 medium beets (include gold and chioggia beets for color and variety)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup fresh, chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh, minced oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
First, slice the beets. Use a mandoline or benriner! Slice the red beets separately from your gold and chioggia beets. The red beets will stain everything, ruining the presentation. Set the sliced beets aside.
In a medium skillet over a low flame, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until just soft, about three minutes. Stir frequently to prevent browning.
Once soft, remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Keeping the red beets separate, toss the beets in about half the chimichurri sauce. Let the beets sit for at least 10 minutes to marinate a little.
Arrange the beets on a large platter. Top with remaining chimichurri.