This vibrant raw beet and herb salad is one of those salads that, after just one taste, quickly becomes a favorite - one that you make over and over. It's utterly simple and the abundant use of herbs make it pop with fresh, aromatic flavor. I first had it early in the summer at an outdoor party and I've since made it numerous times throughout the hot season and into the cooler months of fall. It's as perfect for picnics as it is a festive holiday table.
Ideally, it's best to shred the beets in a food processor, unless you want beautifully pink stained fingers from hand grating them. A food processor also cuts the prep down to just minutes. Be heavy-handed with the herbs and use a combination of the ones you love best. Keep in mind which pack the biggest punch and adjust according to your personal taste. Dress your salad with a bright lemony mustard vinaigrette (you can also sweeten it a bit with honey for a different twist) and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Raw Beet and Herb Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
4 medium red beets, shredded
A large handful of the following combination of fresh herbs: dill, Italian flat leaf parsley, mint, tarragon, thyme, basil, chives.
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Peel and halve the beets (if using a hand grater, keep the beets whole). Grate beets in a food processor using the shredder blade. Remove from food processor and transfer to a large bowl.
Wash, pat dry, and finely chop the herbs. Add to the beets.
In a small bowl, add vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Slowly drizzle half the vinaigrette over the beets and herbs and toss to incorporate. Taste then add the remainder (or as much as needed) of the dressing.