My namesake Grandmother - Ruth Valborg Isakson - immigrated from Sweden. And, I was raised with a whole big family of native-born Swedes in Salt Lake City. Names like: Ivar, Thorston (Uncle Tuss), Rudi, Esther Ingebor, Elizabeth Dagmar … Yup, the vinegared salads were a frequent thing at our own family smorgasbord. Along with the ever present huge rounds of Knackabrot crisp rye bread with loads of fresh butter from Aunt Esther and Uncle Tom’s dairy on 45th South.
Oh, smoked trout, too. Uncle Ivar had a fish camp at Strawberry Reservoir for probably 50 years. Homemade Lever Pastje, punctuated with black peppercorns, served with little cornichon pickles. Boiled eggs. Pickled beets were always on the table. With loads of strong black coffee. Good mormons all. LOL. The church was a means to get the hell out of old feudal Sweden.
There are times when I just can’t help myself, and have to really get crazy with the marinated salads, particularly in the Spring. Hence the following:
Betade Golden Beet Sallad med Watermelon Rädisa
5-6 small to medium ‘golden’/yellow beets
4-5 Watermelon Radishes or other type radish
Zest of half an orange, plus juice
Fresh dill weed and flowers if you can find it
Apple cider vinegar
Grapeseed or other mild oil
Agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp Ground white pepper, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, Pinch sea salt, Pinch red pepper flakes
Boil the beets in water (heavy pot) until easily pierced by a sharp paring knife. Drain them and set into cold water to cool slightly. The skins will slip right off with light pressure. Once the beets are cleaned and rinsed, slice them into a bowl. Add the sliced watermelon radish, and the grated zest of half the orange. Add about two tablespoons of roughly chopped dill fronds. Reserve more for garnish.
Mix up your dressing with approximately equal parts vinegar, honey or agave nectar, juice of the orange, and oil. Whisk. Adjust the tartness to taste. Add the pepper, onion powder, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Whisk thoroughly, and taste to adjust the salt etc.
Pour over the beets and chill for at least one hour.
One large cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced lengthwise in half, sliced across
1 ‘Manila’ mango, in bite-sized cubes
1/3 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Fresh dill weed - mince up two or three fronds
1/4 tsp Ground white pepper, 1/8 tsp onion powder, Pinch sea salt, Pinch red pepper flakes
Zest of half an orange, plus the juice
Apple cider vinegar, agave nectar or honey, grapeseed or other mild oil (see above).
I leave some of the peel on the cucumber if they haven’t been waxed, for looks, taking about half of it off. When you seed the cucumber, just run a teaspoon down the center to scoop out the seeds.
See the Gold Beet recipe for the dressing. Chill for about one hour. I’ll probably serve this with some crumbled hard boiled egg on top.
Both of these salads are great the same day, and for a couple days following (if there is any left). Makes an excellent lunch box addition.
As, I said on the Facebook post, we’re having this with Rabbit Sausages that have been cooked in beer - with mustard, roasted sweet potatoes, and some sauteed swiss chard tonight.
Ooops. It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, well.