Right This Very Minute

Red Beet Salad With Caramelized Onions and Feta
Adapted from Epicurious

Clear your schedule, folks. It’s time to make salad. NOW!

First off, walk over to the fridge and on your grocery list that you have stuck to it’s side with a magnet (you do have a grocery list there, right? Good. Everyone does) write down feta cheese, 3 ounces, and pine nuts. While you’re there, open the fridge door and look inside to make sure you have Dijon mustard. If not, shame on you—buy some. If you happen to already have the feta and nuts and Dijon mustard, then you are Oh So Lucky and you can begin fixing the salad right now.

Run out to the garden and pick yourself two or three medium red beets and two enormous onions (or, if you’re like me and you already ripped yours out by their hair, then go to the barn where they are curing on newspapers and grab a couple dandies).

Gulp a glass of cold water, sloshing some down the front of your shirt. Continue.

Cook the beets—boiling, roasting, whatever, just get them cooked. Then peel and cube them. (If, by chance, you are using canned beets—do not allow yourself to feel like a loser; everything will be just fine—pick two 15 oz cans from the pantry shelf and drain and quarter the beets—you’ll need 4 cups of prepared beets.)

Wipe the sweat from your brow (don’t forget to first wash your hands, or you’ll have bloody beet smears all over your forehead).

Take a couple handfuls of pine nuts and stir them around in a hot skillet until they are toasty-brown. Chop them and set them aside (you’ll need 1/4 cup).

Pick up the dandy onions, peel them, cut them into thin slices and then quarter the stack of slices. Put some olive oil in the skillet that’s still hot from toasting the nuts, toss in the onions, sprinkle with salt, and stir them around on medium high heat until they start to blacken. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking till charred and crispy. About 30-45 minutes total. You have just made caramelized onions! You are a culinary whiz.

Do not be side-tracked by your whizzed-ry or daunted by the stack of dirty dishes in the sink. Keep going!

Now for the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. While whisking continuously, add 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a steady stream.

Don’t stop now! You’re nearly done! It’s almost party-time!

Toss the chopped beets with the dressing. Sprinkle on the caramelized onions, the feta, and the pine nuts, and…YOU DID IT!

Eat the whole entire salad all by yourself, right out of the mixing bowl, grinning like a fool, making loud yum-yum noises, and sighing loudly.

Feed the rest of the family cereal.


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