The salad disappeared immediately, and I used the rest of the pickled onions in my fish tacos and turkey burgers. All in all, it was a success.
Thanks for the memories, and the inspiration, Gourmet.
Beet & Apple Salad with Pickled Onions
4 red beets
1 large apple, such as Fuji
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 sprig fresh basil or tarragon, optional
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Preheat the oven to 350F. Thoroughly wash the beets. Place them onto a large sheet of foil. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil on top. Sprinkle the coarse seas salt over the beets. Add the lemon, cut into wedges, and the sprig of fresh herbs. Tightly wrap the foil. Place it onto a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beets are fork tender. To check the beets carefully open the foil. Use caution so you don’t get a steam burn. You can also make the beets a day in advance and store them in the foil in the refrigerator. If making ahead, keep a sheet pan or plate underneath the foil so the beet liquid doesn’t leak out in the fridge.
While the beets are cooking, make the pickled onions. To prepare the onions, place the thinly sliced onions, mustard seeds and peppercorns into a heat proof jar. Pour the vinegar, water, salt and maple syrup into a pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, remove from the heat and carefully pour the liquid over the onions. Allow the mixture to sit.
Once the beets have cooled, peel the beets. The easiest way to do this is by rubbing your fingers against the skin. It should easily pull away. Reserve the liquid inside the foil. It’ll add great flavor to the salad. Cut the beets into wedges and toss them into a bowl. Slice and peel the apple. Add the apple slices to the bowl. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the apple and beets, followed by the reserved beet liquid from the foil. Add half of the jar of pickled onions and several spoonfuls of the vinegar mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon the salad onto plates and serve.
Leftovers, if you have any, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. The pickled beets can be stored in the refrigerator for one week.