Pink Sultan (Beet Salad with Yogurt and Mint)
Koutsioukis prefers full-fat yogurt (she uses Fage), but you can use a lower fat version if you prefer.
Salt, to taste
3 red beets, washed and leaves removed
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or to taste
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coarse-chopped fresh mint
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add beets and boil about 30 minutes, until fork tender. Start checking the beets for doneness by piercing with a sharp knife after about 20 minutes. You want them to be tender yet firm; not mushy and overcooked.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.
When the beets are cooked, drain them and, while still hot, slip off their skins. This is easy to do with your hands, a paring knife or with a paper towel. But be warned that the beet juice will stain your hands so you may want to use gloves.
Place peeled beets in the ice water bath. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Drain, dry and grate into a nonreactive bowl using the large holes of a box grater.
Add the yogurt, garlic, half the mint and a pinch salt and pepper.
Mix gently until the mixture turns a fuchsia color. For a creamier salad, add more yogurt. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining mint. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis of Mandolin Aegean Bistro.
Per serving: 48 calories (9 percent from fat), 0.5 g fat (0.3 g saturated, 0 monounsaturated), 2.5 mg cholesterol, 3.9 g protein, 7.4 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 61 mg sodium.