Mexican blessed beet salad: Ensalada de betabel bendito

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Karen Hursh Graber

In her introduction to this Mexican blessed beet salad recipe, Chef Susana Trilling explains that it got its name from that fact that she got the beets from a religious festival float that was decorated with a tower of the village’s largest fruits and vegetables, on Palm Sunday in San Antonio Castillo Velasco, near the important market town of Ocotlan. It was served as the salad course on the day I participated in cooking class, and the subtle taste of aniseed in the dressing was appreciated by all of us as a delicious Oaxacan touch.


For the greens:

  • 1 pound beet greens, spinach leaves or Swiss chard, rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • pinch of salt, or to taste

For the salad:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 cups whole beets, cooked, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onions (white part only)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves

For the greens:

If the greens are really big leaves, roughly cut or tear them. Steam the greens for ten minutes over 2 cups water. Drain for 20 minutes, then place the greens in a medium mixing bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the garlic, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the greens and toss well.

For the salad.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, garlic, aniseed, pepper and limejuice. Add the beets and allow to marinate.

At serving time, lay the greens on a platter. Spoon the beet cubes on top and top with orange wedges, green onion and parsley.

Serves 6.

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Published or Updated on: December 1, 2000 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2000
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