I wanted to make a raw dish for Thanksgiving, and decided that it was a great opportunity to finally try raw beets. I searched around for a recipe using grated beets and carrots and found this salad on the blog Chocolate and Zucchini.
I first tried grating the beets in a food processor, but the blade resulted in very flat, soggy pieces of beet. Next I tried a box grater, but that also resulted in pretty flat pieces, and was too much work, considering that I was making a huge bowl of salad. Finally, I ended up using an old rotary grater that clamped to the counter. It had different types of round, metal cylinders that fit inside it, each of which generated different sized slices and pieces. I’ve never seen one of these before, and don’t know exactly what they’re called, but they must have been what people used before they had electric food processors. It generated perfect crisp curlicues of beets and carrot, and wasn’t *too* much work. It was actually pretty fun!
To flavor the grated beets and carrots I followed the Chocolate and Zucchini recipe loosely. I used a little raw garlic, some olive oil, a lot of dijon mustard, some vinegar, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. I found the final product to be very refreshing–a nice antidote to all the heavy, cooked dishes at Thanksgiving dinner.
I saw this recipe over at FatFree Vegan Kitchen, and after reading Susan’s glowing praise of panch phoran I immediately wanted to try it. Amazingly, I had all five spices in my pantry: fenugreek, mustard, kalonji (nigella), fennel, and cumin. I made the panch phoran mixture myself. The only change I made to the recipe was adding some oil to the dish (in guilty opposition to the fat free philosophy).
The red lentils in the dish cause the dish to have a thick, stewlike consistency, but the stew was punctuated by big chunks of cauliflower. I thought the flavor was fine, but more subtle than I had expected–I certainly did not experience the near-euphoria described on the FatFree Vegan blog. Derek, however, liked the recipe more than me, and thought the seasoning was quite strong.
This recipe is simple and nutritious, and very easy to make, so even though I didn’t love it I’ll probably try it again.