In February, I wrote up a recipe for the Boston Globe for pork belly tacos with rooibos-pickled red onion. That recipe’s creator is a young chef named Austin Banach who works in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Several factors have contributed to turning the those excellent pickled onions into a fantastic beet salad.
- Whole Foods now has excellent golden beets all the time. They are one of my favorite vegetables.
- All this talk about a “bacon bubble” is making me worry that it soon will be not-fashionable to make pork belly. We could be in a “pork belly bubble” (which would at least have some alliteration) whose burst is imminent, so I am making pork belly tonight, while we still have time.
- The salad has sweet, salty, and acid elements that are great with the roasted pork belly. The crisp (onion), firm (golden beets), and varied textures of the roasted pork belly (crispy, meaty) are perfect alongside the salad, or rolled with it in a toasted flour tortilla.
The pork belly is made as described in the original recipe. Serve it with crusty Italian bread, and the salad below.
Golden Beet Salad with Pickled Red Onion and Parsley
- 4 large golden beets
- 1 red onion, sliced and quartered
- 1/2 cup Japanese rice wine vinegar (the sweetened and salted kind)
- 1 teabag, rooibos or other red-colored fruity tea
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C)
- Cut the stems off the golden beets, rub them with olive oil, and roast them in the oven, , cut-end down, on a cookie sheet for 80 minutes (or until a knife easily pokes through).
- Set the golden beets aside to cool. (They can even be made the day before)
- Mix three tablespoons boiling water with the vinegar and the tea bag. Let steep 5 minutes and remove the teabag
- Place the onions in a medium sized bowl, pour in the tea mixture, and mix to coat/soak all the onions. Chill the result (in the fridge or freezer).
- Peel and slice the beets into pieces a bit larger than bite size. In a large bowl, mix the chilled onion mixture, chopped parsley, and sliced beets.
- Toss gently and pour into the serving bowl. Serve warm.