Shredded Raw Beet Salad

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Quick! How many of you, dear readers, will admit to eating beets other than under duress? Not many, I’m guessing. And I know why. Beets have a reputation for being a particularly unappealing vegetable. While some praise their “earthy flavor,” many more find that same quality to be the culinary equivalent of eating dirt. It’s even been reported that the White House vegetable garden is a “no beet garden” on account of both POTUS’ and FLOTUS’ dislike of this lowly root vegetable.

Without question, for many people beets are a shunned vegetable. Growing up, I was firmly in that camp. Canned beets would occasionally appear on our family dinner table, and when that occurred, my instinct was to avoid them at all costs due in no small measure to their unnatural purple color, their gelatinous-looking texture, and the fact that they bled all over everything else on the plate. Their disagreeable taste was almost an afterthought.

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Brussels Sprouts Salad

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One of the great things about living near a place like Washington D.C. is the proximity to great restaurants.  That’s the theory at least.  As a busy parent, I’ve found that great restaurants are wonderful only if I can overcome the inertia of the “I’m too tired to drive that far for a meal no matter how good it is” mindset that afflicts me most weekends.

Fortunately, one Saturday night a few months ago I managed to overcome my inertia and found myself at a darling of the D.C. restaurant scene, Proof.  Now, don’t misinterpret what I’m about to divulge – I absolutely loved the meal I had that evening.  I’m sure there was a salad or soup to start, followed most likely by a steak (medium rare, please) as the main course.   But the dish I actually remember eating by name was – wait for it –
a salad of shaved Brussels sprouts.

Yes, I know.  That’s probably not the revelation you were expecting.  But hear me out. Read More