Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grate Your Vegetables

There is a simple side dish you can make that accomplishes the magical goal of being inexpensive, extremely good for your body and your soul, and ludicrously delicious. Start by reaching for your box grater, that neglected tool you may not have used for since before they started selling pre-grated cheese-- remember when?

Now this dish involves vegetables. Vegetables, that elusive category of food you may have seen once on television. Not only vegetables, but a couple of the most despised species: carrots and beets. You want to choose one or the other. You can serve them alongside of each other, but don't mix them together. Unless you want to.

Begin with that most important first step. Peel your vegetables and baptize them under wonderfully cold water from your kitchen sink- Remember to be thankful for the Cascades and the luscious bounty they give us! A thousand page book could be written on the quality of our public water. Also, cleansing your vegetables in this manner will simultaneously cleanse your soul. Promise.

From here this dish is so simple you might as well open a pre-dinner beverage. But watch those fingers! A grater and its crude edges can do a dandy on the delicate flesh of your finger.

Whether using beet or carrot, simply grate the raw vegetable using the large holes. Now season with the four most important ingredients on Earth: salt, fresh-ground pepper, vinegar and olive oil. What kind of vinegar? Try red wine for the beets, perhaps rice wine or white wine for the carrots. How much of these seasonings? It is too difficult to describe in words. Add each seasoning judiciously, taste, and continue seasoning. One thing to keep in mind is these salads do best after sitting out for a good twenty minutes, and change considerably overnight in the refrigerator.

How should it taste? Like a tangy, crunchy mouthful of soul-satisfying flavor. Munch on this alongside a nice piece of protein--whatever your inclination or your pocketbook calls for-- and watch your body and your soul become invigorated at the table.
Box Grater

1 comment:

Linn and Allison said...

French inspiration? At every grocery store they sell containers of shredded carrot salad in a vinegar-y dressing and chopped beet salad in a mustard, vinegar-y dressing. We will miss these but will be making them fresh upon our return!

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