Old-fashioned Cabbage and Beet Salad

 

Sometimes salads can seem a bit boring, so I was delighted to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Cabbage and Beet Salad. This salad makes a lovely presentation that is just a tad dramatic. And, a subtle homemade French dressing adds just the right amount of flavor to the salad.

Here’s the photo and recipe for Cabbage and Beet Salad in the hundred-year-old magazine:

Source: American Cookery (August – September, 1918)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cabbage and Beet Salad

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 small cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups shredded cabbage)

2 medium beets, cooked and diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 cup diced, cooked beets)

French Dressing

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons onion, finely minced

Put shredded cabbage in a bowl; gently stir in 2/3 of the French dressing. Put in refrigerator, and chill for at least 2 hours.

Put diced beets in another bowl; gently stir in 1/3 of the French dressing.  Put in refrigerator, and chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve:  Drain any excess dressing from the shredded cabbage, then arrange the cabbage in a ring with a hole in the center. (I pressed the cabbage into a circular mold, covered with the serving plate, and then quickly flipped and removed mold – but a mold is not necessary.)

Drain any excess liquid from the beets. Place beets in the center of the ring. Serve immediately.

To make French Dressing:  Put olive oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, and paprika in a small bowl; stir to combine. Stir in minced onion.

Old-fashioned Beet Relish Recipe

beet relish

I’m always on the outlook for salads and relishes that use seasonal ingredients. When browsing through the January, 1916 issue of Good Housekeeping, I came across an intriguing recipe for Beet Relish. Of course, I had to try it.

The Beet Relish contains chopped beets and cabbage in a tangy vinegar dressing that has a fun horseradish kick. This recipe makes an absolutely beautiful, slightly flashy, sweet- sour side dish.

Beet Relish

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: easy
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1  cups sugar

1 cups vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoons celery seed

2 cups cooked beets, chopped

1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped

1/8 cup to 1/2 cup horseradish, grated

Combine sugar, vinegar, salt, dry mustard, and celery seed in a bowl. Add chopped beets and chopped cabbage; stir to combine. Add horseradish to taste. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Here is the original recipe:

Good Housekeeping (January, 1913)
Good Housekeeping (January, 1913)

I halved the recipe when I made it. I also used much less horseradish than called for in the original recipe. A little horseradish adds a nice peppery flavor to this dish–but too much can easily overwhelm the other flavors.

Old-fashioned Pickled Beets and Eggs

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 7, 1911: I wound up my driving this afternoon, and I’m not sorry either. Carrie was over this evening. We did some planning for that picnic, which we wish to have some time next week if we can.

Pickled Beets and Eggs at the 2011 McEwensville Community Picnic

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma began driving horses five days ago. As discussed in the August 2 entry, she probably was operating a horse-drawn roller that leveled the plowed ground in preparation for planting winter wheat.

As Grandma planned for the picnic, she may have thought about foods that she could take.  Beets are in season, so a hundred years ago Grandma may have thought about taking Pickled Beets and Eggs to the upcoming picnic. Here’s an old recipe that I use to make pickled beets and eggs.

Pickled Beets and Eggs

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup  reserved  beet water from cooking beets

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 piece stick cinnamon

2 cups cooked beets, sliced (leave beets whole if small)*

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

Combine vinegar, beet water, sugar, and piece of stick cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved then remove from heat.

Put sliced beets and hard-boiled eggs in a glass jar or other container. Pour cooked liquid over the beets and eggs.  Chill overnight to marinate. (For darker eggs, chill for several days before serving.).

*Peel beets before cooking (or canned beets may be used–though that’s probably less authentic).