I mentioned the other day the goodness coming out of my backyard vegetable garden and that beets were next on my “to freeze” hit list. I decided to steal two from that batch to enjoy fresh from the garden and raw. If you haven’t tried raw beets, you really should. They have a mild flavour, pack tons of crunch, and, from a visual stand point, they are stunning and add fantastic colour to your dish.

I’ve had this recipe stashed away for a long time now, waiting for a good garden beet crop to give it a go. I also picked up fresh pears and carrots from our local farmers market. I had no idea how good this salad was going to taste, but with all these good, fresh ingredients, how could I go wrong!

I make the choice to shred everything separately as I was not going to use it all at once and didn’t want the colours and flavours to bleed during storage. However, if you plan to make this salad for a group and have it all devoured in one sitting, then don’t waste your time rinsing the food processor bowl after each ingredient – just let it layer in the bowl and then transfer it all to your dish for serving. That would make this a super easy and fast side.DSC_0910

Another piece of advice I have is in regards to the walnuts. I don’t use nuts very often, but love to have them on hand for when a recipe calls for them. However, they can spoil quickly if left at room temperature. My solution? I store all my nuts in the freezer. I have not noticed any degradation in taste or consistency and it means I can buy in bulk and have them ready when needed.



Raw Rainbow Salad

(serves 8)

For the salad:
2 raw medium beets, trimmed, peeled and quartered (any colour)
½ white cabbage, quartered (or ¼ white and ¼ red)
2 large carrots, trimmed and peeled
2 pears, stems removed and quartered
¾ cup walnut pieces
2 handfuls fresh curly parsley or mint, chopped (optional)

For the dressing:
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce

Prepare a food processor with a coarse grater attachment. Process the vegetables through the grater in the following order to avoid beet juice staining. Beets, Red cabbage (if using), carrots, white cabbage,and pears. Alternatively, shred ingredients separately, cleaning the bowl after each. (You may also use a box grater if you don’t have a food processor.)

Transfer shredded vegetables to a platter or large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, Worcestershire and hot sauce.

Pour dressing over vegetables and mix gently until combined. Add walnuts and parsley/mint (if using) and toss until incorporated.

Serve immediately.


Source: Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living Everyday Food Magazine