According to a report in the July 1983 edition of the Journal of Belgian Medical Anomalies, the beet is charged with being the vegetable causing most unnecessary visits to the doctor. To counter this alarming trend and rehabilitate the reputation of Belgium’s eleventh most popular root vegetable, the Beet Growers of Belgium produced a cookbook called (in English Translation) Rooting for Beets! This cookbook was full of beet recipes for every imaginable occasion. There were recipes for beet bread, beet sherbet, beet salsa, and beet martinis. The recipe book was distributed free by the overhead flight of a fleet of Mars bombers dropping 150,000 copies over the cities of Brussels and Liege.
One month later, the Beet Growers of Belgium surveyed the populations of both cities for their reaction to the recipes. Far and away, the most popular recipe was the final recipe in the book– Salad of Impending Alarm. Immediately, the question was asked, “Why was this?” Why would Salad of Impending Alarm be more popular than, say, beet pie or beet smoothies?
The popularity of Salad of Impending Alarm remains one of the great unanswered questions still troubling the culinary elite of Belgium. You can choose to do your part for resolving this seemingly minor yet persistent national quandary by making the Salad of Impending Alarm, then send any hunches you may have to the nearest Belgian embassy. An entire nation awaits your answer.
Salad of Impending Alarm
(adapted from Nichols Garden Nursery)
4-5 cups claytonia with stems
6 small baked beets, peeled & sliced
2 tablespoons red onion finely sliced
4 teaspoons oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup cup walnut pieces toasted in a frying pan
2 to 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Peel the beets and cut into small cubes. You can bake them in the oven, but I prefer to stir-fry them in a pan. That’s just the way I am.
- Pan-fry the walnuts.
- Combine the beets, walnuts, vinegar, salt, pepper, and onions, then mix them up.
- Wash and lay out the claytonia on a serving dish. Cover with the beet mixture, then sprinkle the cheese to top things off.