I’ve tried for a long time to fall in love with beets. But no matter the preparation or the dressing, there never seemed to be enough spark to start the fire between us. Something in our chemistry was off. And I, the ever-aspiring health nut, felt disappointed that I could not love one of the earthiest of all vegetables.
Something about the light in the grocery store must have changed my mind. Or perhaps it was the subtle melody of the vegetable misters, creating a halo of beauty around the chard-like stalks of the golden beets. I picked up a bunch – a small one, mind you – and brought them home. Almost as an afterthought I roasted them during dinner one night, then peeled and refrigerated them without care before bed. It seemed as though the attraction had faded, and I doubted my purchase.
But then I was inspired to create this winter salad by Sarah Britton at My New Roots, a beautiful whole-foods blog with plenty of gorgeous photographs and science to go along with the yummy recipes. Sarah’s recipes are all vegetarian and often not paleo-compliant, but I am so often wowed by her skill that My New Roots continues to be one of my favorite food blogs. She recently posted a recipe for Beet Tartine with Marinated Caper Berries and it got me thinking about what I could do with the roasted golden beets in my refrigerator.
I took a taste of one of the roots — so deeply saffron, almost citrus in their sheen. It was sweet and earthy, neither cloying nor musty. Dressed in lemon and oil, with black pepper and brine to complement, it was love at last.
Golden Beet Salad
1 golden beet, roasted and peeled (bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until tender)
3 c. green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1 handful Italian parsley leaves
1 radish, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 Tbsp. capers
a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
Za’atar seasoning (Another MNR favorite recipe.)
Combine greens and vegetables in a small bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle liberally with ground black pepper and za’atar seasoning. Serve and enjoy.
I made this salad again this week, this time with the addition of red and green bell peppers and “The Best Chicken You’ll Ever Eat” from Well Fed. I would definitely recommend the combination of TBCYEE chicken with roasted golden beets and capers, and next time I might prepare some just for that purpose.
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Speaking of Well Fed, don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Melissa Joulwan’s excellent cookbook. The contest closes this weekend and the winner will be announced on Monday, Jan. 21. Good luck!