Margot’s Beet and all about beets
Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and Nuts—serves 4
Lots of us don’t like beets because of the poor maligned red beet. Well, frankly I sort of agree. I am not crazy about the red beet unless it is very fresh and mild tasting. I do however like the other colored beets which are now so prevalent in our grocery stores. So, here is a recipe for a salad that you can vary to your heart’s content and totally ignore if you just want to eat the roasted beets by themselves. Additionally, DO NOT THROW AWAY THOSE BEET GREENS—because they too are delicious. No waste here!!!! As a little aside about the benefits that beets offer free of charge to our bodies think about this: they are a powerful antioxidant, reduce inflammation, are packed with vitamins and promote a healthy circulation and cardiovascular system. Some say that they are nature’s Viagra. So, now, will you eat beets?
- 1 bunch medium sized beets-preferably sized about the same-stem cut off but leave about 1 inch worth on each beet; scrub beet thoroughly.
- Fresh lettuce, kale, spinach whatever kind of greens your heart desires
- Scallions—one bunch will do (optional)
- Baby tomatoes (optional)
- White mushrooms (have you noted how healthy mushrooms have all of a sudden become) (optional)
- 1 medium sized orange and/or 4 tangerines or 1 lemon (you will zest and juice these except for the tangerines which you might want to juice and zest but also you will use some for segments in the salad.)
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- Fresh thyme (optional)
- S&P to taste
- Honey (optional)
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (but they can be pecans as well)
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles (optional)
To roast the beets do the following:
- Pre-heat oven to 400F.
- Place each beet in 2 pieces of foil, sprinkle some olive oil and S&P on them wrap well in the foil. Put foil opening at the top and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour—depending on how fresh the beets are. Around here, mine get done in 45 minutes. To test if the beet is done, carefully open the foil (watch out for the steam) and stick a sharp knife into it. If it goes in easily, it’s done.
- So now, you can if you wish take the skin off (try a paper towel or a sharp knife), slice it and place more butter or olive oil on top and devour.
- But if you are going to save the beets for your salad, put the beets in the tin foil in your frig to cool. They’ll stay good for several days.
- I slice mine horizontally however it’s up to you how you wish your beets to look in your salad. You might like to cut them in cubes.
While the beets are cooking, make your vinaigrette:
- In the olive oil, add the zest of one orange, or lemon or even two tangerines.
- Also, add the juice of one orange,one lemon or 2 tangerines.
- You might want to add some honey—but I didn’t.
- You might want to add some thyme
- You might want to add some S&P
- You can whisk this, put it in the blender and just shake it well.
I also added some homemade croutons that I had made from my beer bread recipe. So good!!!!! Later for that. But of course you could add cooked couscous, lentils, whatever. Anyway, I am sure that I don’t need to tell you how to assemble your salad—so just go for it and use your imagination. I love pretty colors and often take pictures of my food presentations. I would love to see some of your pictures so don’t forget to send me some.
This salad could be a whole meal or just a light side to a lovely dinner you’ve invented.
OK—now for your well washed beet greens:
- Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes in a pot of lightly salted boiling water.
- Drain in colander under very cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, chop coarsely.
- In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Stir in some garlic and red pepper flakes (I use these lot) and stir them well in the heated olive oil (about 1 minute and till fragrant).
- Stir in the greens, season with salt to taste and cook just until greens are hot and taste good.
- I serve them with a side of lemon wedges.
Once again: NO WASTE HERE!!!!! and so healthy.
Bon Appétit-From Margot’s Table to Yours