Beet and Carrot Slaw: Winter Color Therapy
By Amy Maltzan
The way I see it, there are a few distinct difficulties to contend with this time of year. After all the glitter and warmth of December, the post-holiday letdown come February can be a bit hard to weather, and the piles of root vegetables in my fridge don’t help.
Perhaps because “they keep so well!,” if I don’t stay on top of my root vegetables, I can sometimes be confronted by about five pounds of beets threatening to spill out of my crisper every time I open the refrigerator door. And then there’s the texture factor: after a few months of roasting, making soups, stewing and braising everything in sight, my body begins to crave some crunch.
For all those reasons, I bring you this beet and carrot slaw. I began making it for my family last year, and we’re so in love with it—as well as how easy it is to prepare—that it gets fairly constant play through the entire season. Forget the hand-shredding: a food processor makes quick work of finely chopping a few raw beets, carrots and shallots; all that’s left to do is mix in a little oil, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Eat it alone, as a topping for tacos, or in a salad of grains, hard-boiled egg, beans and slivered winter greens. The taste is super fresh, the texture is super crunchy, and the vibrant color helps you forget the grey skies overhead.
Beet and Carrot Slaw
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Serves 4-6 as a side salad
8 oz beets (about 2-3 medium), peeled and quartered
8 oz carrots (about 2-3 medium), peeled and chopped into a few pieces
2 medium shallots, peeled
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, chopped
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup cilantro, chopped (substitute flat leaf parsley if you’re adverse to cilantro)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the beet chunks, carrot chunks, shallots and ginger into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped (but not pureed). If you don’t have a food processor you can do this with a hand grater, using the side with the widest holes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in oil, lime juice, and cilantro. Generously season with salt and pepper. Can be made ahead and stored for a few days in the fridge; freshen with a squeeze of lime juice if desired.