Hye Thyme Cafe: Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad with Sudachi Dressing

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad with Sudachi Dressing

Recently, Marx Foods put out the call to food bloggers, looking for those interested in reviewing/sampling a trio of Japanese Juices. I, of course, said "Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!" Our family loves Japanese food, and I love having new ingredients to experiment with (especially when they don't cost me anything). I haven't posted my review yet, but one of the recipes I came up with is this salad, that I absolutely love, so I couldn't wait to share it! Sadly, my photos don't do it justice.

It didn't occur to me until I was making this that, even when I made beet chips a while back, I don't think I had ever eaten a raw beet. I was surprised that they had a peppery, almost mild radish taste. I definitely see more raw beets in my future!

I have been thinking about Carrot Salad lately and knew we were out of carrots, so I already had that in mind when I headed to the grocery store. Although what I was thinking about was more of a carrot/raisin concoction with a spicy peanut dressing, when I saw the beets, I took a turn in that direction and grabbed a few apples to go along for the ride. I chose Granny Smith and Braeburn because they are more sturdy varieties, so I thought they would hold up better to being tossed around and wouldn't brown as quickly as some others.

You can chop or shred or whatever you want. I just happen to like the look of the matchstick cuts, and I find there to be something kind of "zen" about chopping veggies. My mind tends to be rather stream of conscious, so maybe it's just that having to pay attention to what I'm doing so I don't take a finger off gives my brain a chance to slow down for a while and focus. No, I do not have ADD.  ;)

Having tried the juices and been equally horrified by each, I was a little nervous about where to begin with a dressing. It was pointed out to me that I would have had the same reaction to being given lemon or lime juice to drink, so that made me feel a little better about it. I started off by stirring some Agave Nectar into a little Sudachi. Hmmm, not bad. I can work with this...

3-4 carrots
2-3 beets
2 apples

1T + 2 t Sudachi Juice
4 T Agave Nectar
1 clove garlic, minced
4 T olive oil
2 T white balsamic vinegar
1/4 t fine sea salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t granulated dried Pasilla Chile Pepper

Whisk or process the dressing ingredients together to emulsify, then set aside to give the flavors a chance to meld. It was kinda funny - I was still leery of the Sudachi when I started, so I added a little more, then a little more, and a little more. The label on the bottle said something about a little going a long way, so I didn't want it to be overpowering, but as I was adding ingredients, I noticed it getting left behind, so I had to keep increasing it. By the time all was said and done, the dressing had a really nice flavor to it and an almost buttery texture.

As for the veggies, I started with the carrots, then the beets, and ended with the apples because of the discoloring issue. I wanted the apples to be exposed for the shortest possible time. I just used a pair of tongs to sort of toss them all together, then poured over the dressing and let it "marinate" and chill for a little while.

We were originally planning a regular sit-down dinner, but everyone got distracted with one thing or another and that never happened, so I just grabbed some romaine hearts late in the evening and filled them with the salad mixture. My intention was to serve it over mixed greens as a side salad with dinner, but I actually liked it in the romaine hearts. That made me think about lettuce wraps, then sandwich wraps, which made me think that really thin slices of raw beet might be great in a sandwich. I'll have to remember to try that! See what I mean about my mind wandering - it never stops!

Again, sorry for the lousy pictures. I really wish you could tell how pretty it was! Also, the Sudachi was a free sample provided to me, but my opinions are strictly my own...as evidenced by my mentioning having been horrified by the first taste.  :)

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