created: 2006-06-16 16:42:28
This is my version of a year-round side dish from my grandmother Sally. It gets better in the fridge--if you like you can keep freshening it with extra dill and vinegar. I tend to make a lot at once due to the time involved. You can also roast the beets, but I have had more luck with this method, as old fashioned as boiling vegetables is. It's herby and refreshing and is great with chicken and fish and also quiche, as Sarah and Steve and I discovered. About handling beets: try to clean as you go and don't touch them with oily hands, as they'll stain you. But if you're oil-free you can wash off the beetyness pretty easily. If you do find yourself in this predicament, scrub your hands well with more olive oil, then soap and water, then oil, etc., until you feel more presentable.
6 medium sized beets or 10-12 little ones (The honking grapefruit sized beets are harder to cook evenly, and smaller ones are sweeter) red wine vinegar extra virgin olive oil 1 T roughly chopped dill -Rinse the beets (tops removed) and put them in a big pot of water, just covered. Put the pot on medium heat and bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat and boil steadily for a good 40 minutes. Depending on the size, this might be enough--especially for little ones. If they are tender when you stick a sharp knife in them, they're fine. To be honest I tend to just leave them in there for at least an hour because I get distracted. -Turn them off, strain off the water and let them cool in fresh water till you can handle them. -Under cool running water, use your thumbs to slip off the rough outer skin and nubs at the top and tail. The skins should slip off easily. This is a rather satisfying task. -Take the now-smooth beets and cut them in half, then cut each half into 5 or so slices. They should not be floppy. Put in large bowl. -Mix together about 1 T oil to and 2-4 T vinegar. Pour over beets and toss gently with utensils (else you will have magenta Lady Macbeth hands.) I usually add a few shots of straight vinegar from the bottle for good measure after I've mixed it. You can put it in the fridge like this, covered, and it can marinate for as long as you like. It's fine fresh and a little warm, too. Add the chopped dill when ready to serve.