- 1 to 11/2 pounds beets, preferably small
- 2 large shallots
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other good strong vinegar
- 1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Peel the beets and the shallot. Combine them in a food processor and pulse carefully until the beets are shredded; do not purée. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the shallots; combine.) Scrape into a bowl.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the mustard, oil, and vinegar and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss in the herbs and serve.
Raw Beet Salad with Cabbage and Orange. Use equal parts beet and cabbage, about 1/2 pound of each. Shred the beets (with the shallot) as directed, then shred the cabbage by hand or by using the slicing disk of the food processor. Add 1 navel orange (including its juice), peeled and roughly chopped, to the rest of the ingredients.
Raw Beet Salad with Fennel. Use equal parts beet and fennel, about 1/2 pound of each. Shred the beets (with the shallot) as directed, then shave the fennel very thinly. Omit the Dijon and substitute lemon juice for the sherry vinegar.
Raw Beet Salad with Carrot and Ginger. Use equal parts beet and carrot, about 1/2 pound of each. Treat the carrots like the beets (you can process them together) and add about a tablespoon of minced ginger to the mix; omit the tarragon. Substitute peanut for olive oil, lime juice for sherry vinegar, and cilantro for the parsley.
Celery Rémoulade. Replace the beets with 1 medium celery root or 1 bunch celery (1 to 11/2 pounds). Peel the celery root and cut it into matchsticks or trim the celery and slice thinly. Mince the shallot. In Step 2, replace the olive oil with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise if you like.