It can be difficult, for those of us in northern climates, to maintain a diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most methods of preserving the garden harvest require cooking, adding sugar, drying or another process that might remove nutrients from food.
The inspiration for this gorgeous salad came from a recent restaurant dinner, where scallops were served with this salad. I’m not a fan of scallops, but this pairs well with duck or game. This can also count as a full meal if you want to avoid meat.
The ingredients for this salad are easy to obtain raw during winter. Red beets are easy to grow and easy to preserve in a root cellar, apples are easy to obtain from a good source and can be preserved in a dark basement during the winter. The salad leaves I’m using can be grown during winter in a greenhouse or on a windowsill. Valerianella locusta is sold under different names depending on your area. Common names include; corn salad, lamb’s lettuce or field salad. Strawberry vinegar can be difficult to find (it was for me) I found my bottle at Oil&Vinegar. You can make fruit vinegars yourself, using the same method you’d use for apple cider vinegar, but that is best done when you have your own pesticide-free strawberries. You’ll love the sweet taste this gives to dishes without the use of sugar.
Begin by cutting 2 red onions into small cubes. If you want to use your red beets raw, slice them very, very thinly. You can also boil them before slicing them, depends on your tastes. Remember that everything touched by the beets will be stained red, so don’t use your wooden cutting boards. Add the cut-up apples. If you want to keep this salad overnight, do not add the vinegar yet. Especially home-fermented vinegar will get the salad to ferment as well. It is best to let the salad marinade with the beets and apples for about an hour before eating. Add the corn salad just before serving.
2 large red onions
2 large red beets (chioggia works too!)
2 large apples