You can use golden beets or a combination of gold and red ones for this salad. The red ones will color the other ingredients in the salad, but that's okay.
If you buy beets with greens attached, don't throw out the leaves; add them to soup or cook them in a side dish.
Make Ahead: The salad can be made (and refrigerated) a day in advance.
- 5 medium (1 pound total) beets
- 3 medium (1 pound total) pickling cucumbers, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup sun-drop (yellow) tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 small red onion, cut into very thin half-moon slices (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- Leaves and tender stems from 3 or 4 stems cilantro, chopped (2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Have ready a bowl of ice-cold water.
Trim any beet stems to 2 inches and leave the roots intact. Wash the (unpeeled) beets well, then place them in a large saute pan. Cover with salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for 30 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain and submerge in the cold water. The skins and root ends will come off easily. Discard the beet tops with stems; cut the peeled beets in half and then into 1/2-inch half-moon slices.
Combine the cooked beets, cucumbers, tomato halves, onion, vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed before serving.
From columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.