Swiss Chard Beet Salad
Swiss chard and beets are a wonderful match, as the briny kick of the Swiss chard set off the sweetness of the beets so nicely. A deceptively simple, and unpretentious but delicious little salad you might get as attached to as I am. I often use it in a larger dish, part of a main course rice bowl.
The beets’ long cooking time used to be a real deterrent
Cooking beets errs on the time-consuming side, and we don’t always happen to have valuable stovetop or oven time to devote to their cooking. But fortunately, perfect – and perfectly natural – vacuum-packed roasted beets have become increasingly available everywhere; this could well be why beets are turning up much more often, in our smoothies, our salads, even our muffins! Good thing too, as beets are so good, and so good for you!
I have taken some poetic license:
I love to throw a gala or other fragrant red apple into the mix, it rounds out the sweet-tart flavor profile beautifully. So, Moroccan friends, don’t judge!
My Swiss Chard Beet Salad uses up the whole bunch
The ribs are at once crisp and tender; no question of discarding them, au contraire, and you will love the crunch! The leaves are sturdy and don’t wilt easily, so you can revisit the leftover salad even a couple days later; it will be as bright as new.
The secret ingredient in Swiss Chard Beet Salad:
Harissa! You could of course whip up 2-3 tablespoons of the harissa spice mixture, just enough to dress this salad. But I don’t think it would be a good use of your time. Making a whole recipe of harissa is the way to go, and you will have it on hand for many other treats. Plus it is so easy to make, and keeps well in the refrigerator, so it is no great imposition. You could of course buy a container of commercial harissa, but I should tell you it won’t hold a candle to the homemade version, and will cost a lot more. That said, you can settle store-bought harissa. And you know what? You can also skip it altogether on days when you would rather not have spicy food.
Variations on my Swiss Chard Beet Salad
– Another dressing: As mentioned above: No harissa even. Simple olive oil, lemon salt and pepper dressing. Or tehina mixed with water, lemon, zaatar. S&P
– Make it a main course. Dairy: Throw in feta or other diced goat cheese (you might not need any added salt in the dressing); Meat: throw in diced cooked chicken or smoked turkey; add toasted nuts or seeds
- One bunch Swiss chard (rainbow will be beautiful, get it if you find it), ribs and leaves separated
- About a pound vacuum-packed roasted beets, diced (use the whole 500 g bag)
- 1 gala or other good red apple, unpeeled, diced small
- 2 ribs celery, peeled, sliced thin
- 1 wedge red onion, minced
- 1 bunch flat parsley, minced
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup harissa
Slice the ribs thin.
Slice the leaves thin.
Put all the salad greens in a mixing bowl.
Add all dressing ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
Serve at room temperature. Makes about 8 servings.