Ramblin' Rosemary Beet Salad
By Summer Ison
Sprinkle 1/4-1/2C Ramblin' Rose Tea (loose herbs of Red Clover, Rose Petals and Hibiscus) in a medium pot with 2-3 C water. Simmer lightly for 5 minutes then turn off heat and let steep while you are preparing the beets.
Peel and dice about 10 medium beets. I like to use the deep red ones for maximum richness in this dish. Sure, I love the candy stripes and golden beets for roasting but putting them into boiling water with the red ones is a bit like mixing all the paints together. It might be fun, but you end up with one color in the end.
Strain the tea when it is nice and strong. Return to the pan with the beets. Add a large sprig of rosemary. Boil gently until al dente. Turn off the heat and let steep and cool somewhat. Go ahead and mult-task (you know you want to). It can stay at this stage for as long as you like.
Strain off the liquid and dress beets in a separate dish with olive oil, salt and pepper. Return liquid to pan and bring to a simmer again. Add 1/3C balsamic vinegar and 1/3C honey and reduce until half the liquid has evaporated. Glaze the beets with this glorious nectar of the gods. Place the sprig of rosemary on top for dramatic effect.
Enjoy warm or chilled. If there is any liquid remaining after you have consumed (or shared) the salad, use it to make the most amazing salad dressing by adding more olive oil, and or tahini and put it on any old salad. Or just drink it (I won't think you're weird, even if other people do- they don't know what they're missing).
For you who are reading this days or even weeks before you are actually going to prepare this dish, take it a step further and infuse your vinegar with the loose herbs of the Ramblin' Rose tea blend to provide another depth of flavor and extract minerals from the red clover!
Simply place 1/8- 1/4 C herbs in a quart jar and fill the jar with vinegar (for this recipe I use balsamic but normally I prefer raw apple cider vinegar for infusing). Use either a plastic lid or place a piece of wax paper under the lid to prevent the vinegar from corroding the metal. Place on your kitchen counter so you can remember to shake it once or twice a day. Feel free to admire it, sing to it or smell it periodically as well.
After as little as a day or two or as long as a week or two, you may strain the vinegar and use for this recipe. Or, if you don't like beets or want to do something different you may combine with olive oil, honey or maple syrup and tahini (optional) to make a delightful, versatile and nutritious salad dressing or veggie dip!