In addition to their wonderful taste, beets have outstanding health benefits as well including (among other things) high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin C and iron. Perhaps this is why they're the pagan symbol for love and beauty!
I was introduced to this recipe some time ago by Nash Holos food columnist, the late Sylvia Molnar. I thought it was an unusual (even odd) combination for a salad, but gave it a try ... and it's become one of my favourites.
It's a make-ahead, so on top of being easy to make in the first place, it's one less thing to worry about during meal prep time.
In a pinch, canned beets can be used in this recipe. But I prefer using fresh beets. They have a rich, sweet earthiness that gets lost in the canning process.
Beets can be prepared easily enough. Choose beets in similar size. Wash them well, wrap in foil and roast at 400ºF for about an hour, or until tender when pierced with a thin bladed knife. The skins will slip off easily once they’re cooked.
Less messy than peeling them raw and boiling!
Here's what you'll need for Ukrainian Beet & Mushroom Salad:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups cooked diced beets
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil over medium heat until soft, then add the beets. Mix the remaining ingredients, and toss with the onion-beet-mushroom mixture.
Chill overnight. Serve cold. Makes about 8 servings.