Ensalada de Betabel* y Yerba Buena: A Summer version of Mexican Beet Salad
Mexican food is more than fish tacos and bean and cheese burritos. Don’t get me wrong, the fried and spicy Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex versions of traditional dishes are tasty, but they don’t fully and fairly represent the Mexican menu.
Traditional Mexican beet salads usually compliment the subtle sweetness of beets with savory queso fresco, onions, garlic and maybe an avocado…but I’ll save that recipe for another time. Today, I thought it’d be nice to make a tart and refreshing salad for a picnic in Central Park.
So here is a summer beet and mango salad recipe. Did I say beet? Yup, you heard right, I’m like a viejita (little old lady) at a salad bar: I love beets!
Ingredients: 2 large beets, 3 limes, 1 almost ripe mango, fresh mint or spearmint tea, sugar.
Wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind dyeing hot pink.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the beets. Wrap each beet in foil and place on a cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Remove from oven and cool.
Peel off the skin and cut into 1 centimeter cubes. Then, peel and slice 1 almost ripe mango into 1 centimeter cubes. Toss beets and mango in bowl with 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint or 1 dry spearmint, the juice of three freshly squeezed limes and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Marinate for 1 hour in the fridge. Enjoy.
*Betabel= Mexican for beet, AKA Remolacha en español, or “las cosas rojas” if you ask one of our friends.