Borcht Salad for a Hanukkah Latke Party

12-21-14-CA-LA-Lyndia's latkethon-borcht salad

Tomorrow I am going to the Hanukkah latkethon of Lyndia Lowy, my friend-since-we-were-12, who has been frying potato pancakes (and carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato, and zucchini pancakes) for weeks (and freezing them). Usually fifty or more of her best friends show up. Our tradition is that I bring a massive tossed salad of my own recipe, which, because of its similarity of ingredients to borcht soup, I call Borcht Salad.

My feeling is: If everything else on the menu is oily, hot, starchy and golden in color, then the complementary dish should be cool, crunchy, spicy, sweet, sour and deep maroon and purple. And made from organically grown produce. I use a Champion Juicer without the lower screen or plate, so the veggies are quickly shredded by the rotating blades. A food processor with shredding set-up works well, too. The Champion Juicer just makes it, well, juicier. However, it does NOT mince the red onion much at all; that job is best done with a good sharp food prep knife.

Unless I have a huge serving bowl, I like to prepare the vegetables ahead in four equal bagsful, so that the next salad can be quickly put together when the serving dish is empty, or served in four bowls along a banquet table.

Machine grate and divide into four parts in four zipper bags:
3 large beets, peeled and cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.
5 pounds of carrots, scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
3 pounds of daikon radish (optional), scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
1 whole, small red cabbage, with the stem removed, cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.
1 whole, small red onion, peel and top removed, cut in quarters

In 4 separate bags, place:

4 whole red leaf lettuces: each leaf washed and dried in salad spinner, then torn into pieces by hand.

To assemble: pour the contents of one bag of shredded vegetables and one bag of torn lettuce into a large serving bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper.