If you clicked on the link to the title of this post and are reading this sentence, then I must say, "thank you." Thank you for being interesting in reading about beets- an ingredient that gets such a bad rap. I hope to make it worth your while!
Anyway, so - I had what I call a "complete weekend." I ran necessary errands, cleaned my house, had a TV and reading date with my couch for an entire Saturday afternoon (I literally haven't had a chance to sit on my couch for more than 15 minutes in the last few months), practiced photography, had my first super advanced Pilates session (I'm hurting in a great way today), and picked out my outfits for the week (I NEVER ever have time to do that). I treated my body to homemade healthy meals on Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of these chocolate chip cookies that I made last night. I ate two of them. Ok- I ate three. But I deserved it. All of that was done by 5PM last night, which means I had extra time to relax. I felt and feel complete and refreshed.
But it's a new week and back to regular scheduled programming. I want to start this week off by telling you about that beet salad you see there. Doesn't it look like a dainty little salad that should be served at a summer dinner party?? I think so. I made it on Saturday and absolutely loved it. I'm a beet convert. I used to hate beets- hate with a passion. The beets I knew of as a child were canned or pickled and insanely gross. But over the last few years, I have tried them in a few different ways. Those ways have turned me into a beet convert. And if you don't like beets, perhaps that delicate looking salad will get you on the path to becoming a convert, too...
My conversion started with this food photography workshop I attended a few years ago. One of our dinners included a roasted red beet salad that I was completely hesitant to eat. But I put it on my plate anyway. Plus it honestly did look pretty. The beets looked like little red jewels. But looks can be so deceiving... But I took a bite and remember being completely surprised. The beets were slightly sweet, silky and completely absent of that weird metal flavor I loathed as a child. They were delicious. That is where my love for beets all started. Since then I have been enticed to put them in juices (this juice is one of my favorites!). And recently, I have been making various versions of my own roasted beet salads...
This roasted beet salad is one of my favorites. I found a version of it in Sara Forte's cookbook, "The Sprouted Kitchen." I refer to her cookbook when I need to spice of my healthy food life - which is often. The roasted beets here tasted just like they did the first time I had them - tender, silky and slightly sweet. Their sweetness in this salad pairs perfectly with the maple cider vinaigrette - a vinaigrette I pretty much use on most of my homemade salads these days. All of that is offset by the crunch of toasted walnuts and the creamy richness of the goat cheese. I heart goat cheese - especially in this salad. Anyway, if you aren't a fan of beets, just try this salad. Just try it... You just might like it.
Here is what you need and what to do (serves 4 to 6):
3 large or 5 small golden beets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cups butter lettuce or other delicate green lettuce
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup goat cheese (feta would work, too)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the beets and remove the stems. Rub them with the olive oil and wrap them in foil. Place them on a baking sheet. Bake for an hour or until you can pierce the center of the beet easily with a knife. Set the beets aside to cool.
2. While the beets are baking, add the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are combined.
3. Once the beets are cooled, peel the skins off using a paring knife or vegetable peeler. The peel should come off pretty easily. Slice them into really thin slices using a very sharp knife.
4. Toss the lettuce with some of the dressing and some freshly ground black pepper. Top the lettuce with the beets, cheese and walnuts. Drizzle a little dressing over the salad. Reserve the remaining dressing to serve on the side. If you have leftover dressing, store it in a jar or an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Enjoy and let me know if you try this!
Images by me