“The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets…” (III:74)
Medieval Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad
Modern Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad
We are huge fans of beetroot, in fact they are one of our favorite veg, so we are thrilled to include them in these recipes! The color of these salads alone make them seem really impressive. They are both very similar in terms of presentation, but the taste varies.
The medieval salad tastes…well…medieval. The taste profile is somewhat weak, the strongest flavor coming from the semi-caramelized red onions. The beets taste as boiled beets should, and the green beans wouldn’t be anything without the salt we put on them. Balsamic vinegar is a must to make this dish passable.
We liked the modern salad far better, with the complexities of the thyme making the dish more interesting to eat. Broiling all the veg brought out the sweetness in each one, especially the beets and onions. The balsamic was less of a necessity on this dish, but it finishes the tastes fantastically.
Overall, if you have to choose, choose modern.
While we did not find a medieval recipe that has these exact ingredients, we opted to treat each vegetable as it most often is in medieval cookery, and top the salads with oil and vinegar, as most salad recipes we found called for.
- 2 large beets
- 2 red onions
- 1/4lb green beans, trimmed and cleaned
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- your favorite vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Trim and wash beats and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender. Plunge beets into cold water, and slough off outer skin. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Slice onions into rings and separate. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, but still vibrantly colored. Swap onions with green beans, cooking till tender.
Slice the beets into large discs, layering the beets and onions, and top with green beans. Drizzle on your choice of vinegar and olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 large beets
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 2 red onions, cut in 6 wedges
- 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut to 3-inch lengths
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400F.
Wrap beets in foil, and place directly on the oven rack. roast until they are tender and can be pierced with a knife, usually about an hour. Let the beets cool, and peel and quarter them. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, salt, pepper, and toss to coat.
Place onion wedges on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Turn onions over, and roast for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Place green beans on the baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, a bit of water, 1 teaspoon thyme, and salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and roast until almost crisp-tender, about 14 minutes. Uncover and continue to roast until water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with onions.
Drizzle onions and green beans with balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with beets and serve warm.