I love salads and have one almost everyday and I try to make them as nutritional and tasty as possible. Beets may be one of the most overlooked vegetables. They aren’t very attractive, and many of us remember them from childhood when we hated them. Beets are naturally sweeter than any other vegetable and a favorite addition to salads. They are also delicious alone or with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. You can steam them ahead and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Beets are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients and have many health benefits such as lowering your blood pressure, boosting stamina, detoxification support and anti-cancer properties. Arugula is a great choice for salad greens since it contains so many more nutrients than lettuce. It’s a great source of vitamins A,C, and K, folic acid, and iron. This is one good- for-you salad and it’s delicious too!
What you will need:
3 or 4 medium to small beets
pecans (or nuts and seeds of your choice)
1/4 C olive oil
2 T balsamic or red wine vinegar or a mix of both
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper
Wash beets and cut cut off leaves and ends leaving a inch or so of stem on each side. This keeps the beet juice from leaking out when steaming. Beets can take a long time to cook or roast. The larger the beet the longer the cooking time so look for smaller beets. The longer you cook beets the more of their nutritional value you will be loosing so we want to steam them as fast as possible. Cut beets into quarters and place in a steamer. Cover, bring to a boil and lower heat a bit and steam for 15 minutes or so until beets are tender. Test with a fork and steam a little more if necessary. When they are done remove from pan and set aside to cool. When they are cool you can peel and slice them. They do turn your fingers red. This is a good thing since it means you’ve left in the nutirents. I try to touch them as little as possible and use a fork instead of my fingers to hold them in place when slicing. Don’t worry though, it washes off after a bit.
To toast nuts and seeds, place in a frying pan and brown over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and give off a toasty fragrance. Watch them carefully since they burn easily. Set them aside to cool. (I wiped the pan with some olive oil which you can see in my photo. I didn’t like the taste of the oil after it cooled so I roasted them again with a dry pan and they turned out perfect.)
For the salad dressing, whisk together olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Squeeze in a clove of garlic and 1/2 tsp or so of Dijon mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is my- go to vinaigrette. Easy and tasty!
Toss everything (except for cheese) together in a large bow. I like to sprinkle a little cheese on each individual plate or serve on the side if you are making a large salad.
This also tastes great with some sliced red onion. You can use a mixture of baby greens instead of arugula if your prefer. Hope you enjoy!