The first time I ever encountered beets was on one of my first visits to my now-mother-in-law’s house. She was preparing dinner, and one of the dishes that she and Brian made together was what they called “Pink Salad.”
I was hesitant, to say the least, about eating this pastel-coloured salad that combined cooked beets, hard-boiled eggs, and apples. However, being the well-brought up girl that I am (and the new girlfriend), I served myself a small portion at dinner and reluctantly brought my fork to my mouth.
I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever eaten anything that tasted so…. earthy; yet it was sweet, tangy, crunchy, and – you’ll have to forgive me – I can’t quite find the last adjective to describe this salad & do it justice.
After we had been married for a few years, Brian made it one evening when we had his sister, visiting from BC, over for dinner, and I found that I quite liked the dish. That summer, I planted beets in the garden specifically for this recipe, and I haven’t looked back since. We’ve fed it to guests & brought it to potlucks, and while not everyone has been a fan of it, the majority have deemed it quite tasty – even those who claim to dislike this pink root vegetable.
I’m not entirely sure where my mother-in-law got this recipe (it’s 11:11pm on a Tuesday night, so I’m not going to call her & ask), so I’m just going to go ahead and attribute it to her.
By the by, beets are incredibly easy to grow in your garden and demand very little – if any – attention throughout the summer. I highly recommend planting a couple rows of these in your garden next spring.
I like to make a large batch of this salad and serve it for a few days in hot weather. It tastes good as a cold salad, and during a heatwave like the one we’re currently having here in Hamilton, it is SO NICE to have a filling dish to pull out that takes care of fruit, veg, and protein when I don’t feel like slaving over a hot stove in a sauna. It is absolutely now one of my go-to recipes, so I urge you to give it a try!
This is an incredibly versatile recipe: love apples? Throw an extra one in there! Skipping a main protein on the serving platter? Add more eggs! Like a creamier salad? Go ahead – toss in an extra 1/4 cup of mayo!
- 3 large beets, greens trimmed off and root chopped to 1"
- 1 large apple, cored & chopped
- 6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, & diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Place beets, whole and unpeeled, into a large pot and cover with water an inch or two above the top of the beets. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a low boil and cook until fork can easily pierce to the centre of the beet (30-50 min, depending on thickness of beet).
- Remove beets from boiling water, and when cool enough to handle, use your fingers to slide the peels off of the beets & discard.
- Chop beets into ~1" cubes, allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Cover & refrigerate until serving.
- Like most things, salad is a pretty personal dish. While some people enjoy the earthiness of the beet, others prefer the crunch of the apple. Feel free to add another apple, reduce the eggs, increase the mayo, etc., to your & your family's taste!
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