There is a culinary tradition in Eastern Europe to eat beets with sour cream. Borscht, for example, is always served with a dollop of sour cream. This salad is no exception. However, if you’d rather not eat sour cream, you can sub in mayo or yogurt. I even tried this with some cottage cheese I’d pureed, with good tasting results. What caught my eye in this recipe is the addition of prunes, though any dried fruit would work. For example, if you made this with golden beats, you could use dried apricots. This should chill before serving, but don’t serve it cold, unless it’s the middle of summer.

1 lb or so beets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c chopped walnuts, or other nuts (peanuts are good here)
1/4 c chopped prunes (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water if hard)
3 – 4 T sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh, chopped parsley, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Wrap beets in foil, place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, when a knife can easily pierce the root. Or put in a covered casserole dish with enough water to cover the bottom of the casserole. You could also try steaming them. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, if you like, and shred coarsely or chop or dice. Put into a serving bowl.

2. To the beets add the garlic, walnuts, and prunes (soak them while the beets are roasting). Toss gently. Add 3 T of the sour cream along with some salt and pepper. Toss again. Add more sour cream if you think it’s needed. Taste for seasonings and chill before serving. If using parsley, sprinkle it over the salad before serving.