I have been craving beets ever since this new reality of ours has surfaced. Every grocery order that I do, I inadvertently forget the beets. Not this time, I really needed them. Here’e why.
A few months ago I taught a Turkish Cuisine class. The food was wonderful, but the real star was the beet salad. Its simplicity, with just a few ingredients, packed such a powerful flavor, it literally stunned everyone in the class. Those are the recipes that I put in my mental filing cabinet as true Culinary Medicine.
On a zoom call the other night with local healers, and folks in the know, we discussed diet and how having your body as clean as possible could be a key to avoiding Covid -19, along of course with social distancing and following safety protocols. Beets are the best liver cleansers you’ll ever find. We are trying to navigate a way through our collective trauma, and why not with good food ?
Yesterday I experienced my first “flat earther. ” Commenting on a friend’s social media post, “Do you know anyone personally with covid -19?” ” Several” was my response. It was immediately followed by being called a liar by some dude who was obviously living in his own reality and enjoyed picking random people to harass. My friends called this fella a flat earther. Ok, so you believe the earth is flat. All sorts of people are crawling out of the woodwork during this time. I’m not sure why I was surprised but it did trigger something in me. I left a very brief comment which I won’t repeat. You just can’t take the New York out of me. Then I gave myself a pass for reacting the way I did. It’s understandable under the circumstances.
I only get the cliff notes when the news is concerned. I can’t listen to Donald Trump anymore.I have to keep my sanity. He might as well be a flat earther, lost in his own reality in the land of money, narcissism, and his own twisted messiah complex. I don’t know how or if we will get out of this mess with him at the helm. It’s not looking good.
The beets arrived in my grocery order just in the nick of time. A knock at the door and there they were. They are grounding and exactly the right food for this moment in time. They are round, like the earth, and have and earthy taste. Beets are the food of my ancestors. And I need to know they are there watching over me. This salad reminded me that they are.
Turkish Beetroot Salad
- 6 medium size beets peeled and sliced in half.
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, white / red wine vinegar, or cider vinegar (use what’s on hand)
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves (or more to taste)
2 cups thick Greek style plain yogurt or drained yogurt/ or non-dairy plain
- 2 tablespoons minced dill or cilantro
- Wash well, peel and slice the beets in half for easy grating. Boil until slightly tender. Drain and let cool. Grate in a large bowl. You can either use a hand grater or food processor. Stir together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the cooled beets and allow to marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle, or food processor, add 1/8 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste. Stir into the yogurt. Stir in half the dill. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the beets and stir some of the marinade into the yogurt (to taste). Toss with the beets or arrange the beets on a platter and drizzle the yogurt over the top. Sprinkle on the remaining dill and serve.