Cookbook Profile

Red Root Salad

Serves 4 to 6


"Out of respect for their ability to ruin my clothes, I never cooked fresh beets until I was fifty. But beets are full of iron and they come with fine tops that can go into the stockpot. Most of all, they have a good, deep flavor and a solid texture that is not hinted at by the canned variety. So, I said to myself, 'Just wear an old apron and handle them carefully so the juice doesn't stain your wooden cutting board or clothes as you prepare them.'" When you peel fresh beets, your hands will surely be stained magenta red, but it's not a permanent dye. Like that of cherries or pomegranates or henna, the red will wash away shortly. Besides, the phosphorescent red/orange of the salad, brilliant enough to light up a rock concert, is reason enough to risk a stain of its color.
—Jeanne Desy (Columbus, OH)


3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon shredded orange zest
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth or water
2 medium beets, cooked,
   peeled, halved, and sliced thin
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon peanut oil
Salt and pepper
Whole lettuce leaves, washed and spun dry
4 green onions (scallions),
   trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal


1. Place the carrots, garlic, orange zest, and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are wilted but still crunchy, about 4 minutes. Drain, discarding the garlic and zest, and chill the carrots.

2. Just before serving, combine the carrots, beets, vinegar, and peanut oil in a bowl and gently toss to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again.

3. Make a bed of lettuce leaves on a large serving platter and spoon the root mixture on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the green onion slices over all and service.

Buy the Book!


The Smith & Hawken
Gardeners' Community Cookbook

Written and compiled by Victoria Wise
Workman, October 1999
Hardback, $35.00
ISBN 0-7611-1772-5
Trade paper, $19.95
ISBN 0-7611-1743-1
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The Smith & Hawken
Gardeners' Community Cookbook



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This page created May 2000