I recently ventured to the Union Square Greenmarket, and dang, I couldn’t stop drooling. Vibrant colors, sweet smells, all up for grabs. I wandered through a couple aisles, and my heart settled on a bright bunch of beets. I also had a fresh crop of basil at home, so I was excited to mix the two together. The garlic-ginger oil complements the basil well, and I'm curious to see what others spices you could throw in here. For color, you can't beat the ruby red colored beet, even more so when contrasted against the green basil. Best of all, they’re not just pretty bites. The beets’ phytonutrients have deep antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Slice off the beets from the beet greens, usually 1/4-in down from the stem. Now according to World’s Healthiest Foods, steam these lovely rubies for 15 minutes, covered, or until tender. To make a cold salad, we’ll immediately blanch them. (Remove from steamer and submerge in icy water, to stop the cooking process.) Cooking for up to 15 minutes releases the most amount of nutrients, while providing optimum texture.
Mince the ginger & garlic together; set aside for at least 7 minutes (now they’ll retain more of their nutrients once put under heat…cool).
Slice off the kernels of your fresh corn cob. Julienne the basil leaves. Coarsely chop the beet greens (any green will do, it’s just nice to “use all of the buffalo”, i.e. the freshly chopped beets). Half the carrot lengthwise, then thinly slice it into discs. Hopefully your beets have cooled down by now, so you can dice them into 1/4-inch cubes.
Gently warm up the olive oil in a skillet until fragrant, then add in the ginger and garlic; generously salt, and occasionally stir for seven minutes. Meet the dressing!
Mix all the roots and vegetables together in a large bowl, then toss in the dressing and vinegar. Add a little salt and garnish with basil if you want. Serve immediately!