You might be thinking that I learned all of my recipes from her. But, the truth is she did not cook at all until later in life… and could only prepare a handful of dishes well. Hmm, maybe I should say a few instead of a handful. Because there were only about four: Pound Cake, Italian Antipasto Salad, Sauteed Zucchini, and Beet Salad.
Of these four the Beet Salad is my favorite. It is lemony, but not too overpowering with lemon. But, the ingredient that makes this dish genius is the celery. Grandma only used the celery from the inner most part of the stalk; the pale yellow stalks and leaves. I was 17 when she showed me this. I thought it was genius then and I still do. Those inner leaves are absolutely delicious!
Over the years, I have often used this dish as a starter. It is gorgeous plated on its own and garnished with celery leaves, or with deep colored greens, curly endive, or even nestled inside Belgium endive or a delicate inner celery rib. It is also stunning served with a halved baby artichoke. There are so many choices, you can almost always find something fresh at the grocery to accompany it.
I am giving you the basic proportions in this recipe. You might find you like much more mayonnaise, which will lighten the color of the dish to varying shades of dark pink. You might also want to add more lemon or salt. I personally like the recipe as I wrote it, but please do adjust it to your own personal taste!
Today’s recipe is: Lemony Beet Salad