So there were pretty beets at the market. Well, about a week and a half ago… but they’re still in my fridge. And I’d meant to make my usual beet and purple cabbage shred, but there haven’t been any purple cabbage these days. So I’d been pondering what to do with them.
I didn’t want to substitute a different variety of cabbage because the color bleed would be unfortunate. So I’ve just been sitting around with beets and not using them.
And then I just sort of played from there.
Cold Black Rice Noodle and Beet Salad
Julienne 4 raw beets (but it could easily have been a few more).
Boil some water
Julienne carrots until you have about a third the quantity of beets. You could also throw in some red bell pepper or cucumber or whatnot.
Cooking the noodles – do not believe the package! The package says to put the noodles into the cold water, bring it to a boil, and then cook for a few minutes. This will lead to mush and tears. Instead, boil the water, turn the heat OFF, then add the noodles (I did two of the little wrapped packages, so that’s about 5 ounces), and within a minute or so they will be plenty soft. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking even though you will lose starch. Actually, for these purposes, there wasn’t much harm in losing the released starch.
Dump the noodles in with the vegetables.
Squeeze 2 limes, add 2 Tablespoons of black vinegar and about an eight of a cup of plain rice vinegar, sprinkle in about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, and a healthy glug of toasted sesame oil. Mix that all together and see whether it feels like the proper amount of sauciness and whether the tastes are balanced.
Toast some unsweetened shredded coconut, and add it (this really improved the dish!).
And then feel free to go through your cupboards looking for other fun things. The only thing else I added were some toasted almond slivers, but sesame seeds or tofu or more vegetables all would have been good. Cabbage would be a good addition, too.
The end result was charmingly vegan and gluten free, but I was tempted to try adding a splash of fish sauce, and it’s with noting to people with dietary concerns that the noodles contain corn starch.
And now I know what I’ll be taking to the next food blogger pot luck.