I keep meaning to update my beet salad recipe, but keep forgetting to do so. My friend asked me for the recipe, and I pulled it up here.
I've made that salad many times, and as she mentioned, it's extremely forgiving. You can happily cut this in half, and it'll be fine. When I wrote the recipe originally, it was a way for me to eat beets, and not hate them. Over time, however, I found that 3 lbs of beets was a bit much to get at once, and that buying a half pound of daikon is a bit of a ridiculous proposition. So I'd quietly cut back on the beets, and just bump up the daikon and apples, and the balance of flavours was much nicer for me. Also, over the times I've made it, I would sometimes not have daikon, so I'd use whatever was similar in texture that was lying around, and it worked out just fine. Sometimes, I'd have only odds and ends left, and I'd work it out with those odds and ends. Also, sometimes I'll throw in a chopped red onion, and it's a lovely addition.
2 lb beets
1 lb carrots
1 lb daikon, red radish, chayote, red cabbage, white cabbage, or any combination of these
1 lb granny smith apples (if you can't find granny smith, use the firmest apple you can find, and bump up the lime juice in the dressing)
Peel the beets with a peeler. Grate the beets. Don't bother peeling anything else, unless you're really that fussed about it. If the skin is gross looking, I'll peel the daikon or carrot, but never peel the apple. The skin helps it stay together.
1/4 - 1/2 cup peanut butter (this works with sunflower seed butter, almond butter, and cashew butter as well)
1 TB white miso (optional; if you use red miso, cut the amount in half)
1 1/4 cups apple juice
2 TB lemon or lime juice
Salt, to taste
1 TB Rice wine or apple cider vinegar
Knob of ginger about the size of the first joint of your thumb
Cayenne pepper, to taste
In a blender, combine together the miso, the apple juice, the lime juice, some salt, the vinegar, ginger, and a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper. Blend until the ginger is completely broken down and incorporated. Start with 1/4 cup of peanut butter, and blend to combine. If the dressing is thick to your liking, stop here. If you'd like it thicker, feel free to add more peanut butter.
Toss the grated vegetables together with as much dressing as you'd like (I use it all, because I like salad to be decadent), and let it marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge. The flavours need a bit of time to mellow out, and combine well.
If you don't have or like apple juice, just use water, and add about 1 tsp of sugar. If you don't have miso, skip it completely, or sub it out with tahini. The dressing will definitely have no problems if you feel like adding a bit more ginger. You can blend in about 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil if you want the flavours to be more intense, but I wanted this recipe to be oil free. You can also add chopped onion and garlic, but I wanted the recipe to be free of onion and garlic as well.
If you don't like sweet with salty, cut back on the apples by about 1/2, and bump up the daikon/cabbage/chayote (or whatever you end up using) instead. They'll be able to mute some of the sweetness coming from the apples and carrots. I personally don't care for recipes that are sweet and salty together, but this was a good balance, and I enjoyed it.
This does make a good base to add to other stuff, but when you've got like 6 lbs of salad lying around, I'm not sure that you'll ever need to bulk it out. That said, if you do end up halving the recipe, still make the full batch of dressing. The dressing is quite delicious when tossed with noodles too.
The point is that the salad is very forgiving, and you'll be fine as long as you stick to the texture family of the ingredients I've listed.