Barbara Kafka

Rainbow Beets with Celery, Capers and Dill

(from Vegetable Love, page 166) 

Use a single variety of beets if that's all that's available, but it's nicer to mix them up for a rainbow effect. It is a terrific accompaniment to grilled or roasted fish.

This is a good make-ahead salad, but do not add the celery until just before serving, or it will discolor.

2 pounds medium beets (about 3 ounces each), mixed variety (red, golden, Chioggia), trimmed and scrubbed

7 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, plus additional for chilling beets

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

3 large ribs celery, trimmed, peeled and cut cross into ¼-inch diagonal pieces (about 1 cup)

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place each variety of beets in a different saucepan. Cover with water by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until a knife slips easily into the flesh; add water as necessary to keep the beets covered. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Rub off the skins. Cut into ½”-wedges.

Place each beet variety in a separate bowl. Add 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar to each. Mix well. Cover. Chill several hours or overnight.

Combine the beets in a large bowl. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons rice vinegar and then the remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Makes 4 cups, serves 4 as a first course or 6 as a side dish

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