|Two "flinke" beets|
The rest of the recipe calls for:
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons salad oil
1 teaspoon sugar
chopped onion or leek
salt and pepper to taste
I used beets that I purchased at a local farmers' market. The preparation is described as follows:
- Wash the beets thoroughly.
- Cook them in ample water, with salt for about three hours [!]
- Remove the skin; let them cool, and cut in slices or cubes.
- Mix with the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and if desired, the chopped onion or leek.
- Serve the salad with cold meat or cold cooked fish.
|Beet Salad - 1922 Recipe|
This is the simplest of the recipes for beet salad in my three Dutch cookbooks. I found that the huge beets cooked for a lengthy time (I only boiled them for half the time indicated in the recipe) did not have much flavor on their own, and a larger number of smaller beets may have produced a tastier dish.
Mom's 1961 cookbook included a slightly different recipe for beet salad, which called for six beets, six boiled potatoes, four hard-cooked eggs, two apples, and three large sour pickles. The dressing was either mayonnaise or oil and vinegar, "if [the mayonnaise] is considered to be too nourishing."
This version was also suggested to be served alongside cold meat.
In good frugal Dutch fashion, I used the leftovers from the first recipe to try this one out as well, although I omitted the apples and pickles. Of course, the potatoes and egg turned a pleasing shade of pink when they came into contact with the beet juice.
|Beet Salad - 1961 Recipe|
My modern Dutch cookbook adds even more ingredients to the mix -- 300 grams of corned beef. In this version, the beets and apples are grated, and the mixture is served on a bed of lettuce leaves, with a slice of white bread to round out the meal.
I think I like the oldest recipe best, and would prefer to have the meat and potatoes separately. Whichever way you prefer your bietensla, eet smakelijk -- enjoy your meal!
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Language note: My Essential Dutch Dictionary translates the Dutch word flink(e) as "tough, capable, considerable."
Mom's 1967 Cassell's Dutch-English Dictionary (first copyrighted in 1923, a year after Grandma's cookbook was published) gives a range of meanings for different contexts. Here are a few:
good (walk, number, size)
sturdy, stout, lusty, robust, strapping, stalwart, hardy, energetic
I love this versatile Dutch word flink(e) -- so useful for describing people or things!