There are so many vegetables available at the market these days - vegetables we tend to be a little less familiar with. Today, I want to focus on beets. Red beets seem to be the most common in the supermarket but yellow/golden beets are delicious as well. Beets are a root vegetable but the entire vegetable is edible - the greens are actually my favorite of all the greens.
I love beets and I always have but my husband isn't crazy about them. I can't remember if my kids have had them before but all three of them ate the beets without complaining and a couple of the boys liked them very well. The recipe I made even had my husband admitting that they were pretty good!
Here are the red and yellow beets washed, trimmed*, drizzled with olive oil, wrapped in aluminum foil, and ready for the oven. Bake them at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until tender. Then cool until they can be handled and peel them. I actually enjoy them straight from the oven just like that with maybe a little butter and salt. For the recipe, cut them in wedges - 6 or 8 per beet.
The recipe below is in my top favorite salads ever. It is SO good - a bite with a little bit of everything has the perfect textures and wonderful flavor.
BEET, GOAT CHEESE, & AVOCADO SALAD
(Inspired and adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
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1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium red beets, roasted, peeled, and cut in wedges
3 medium yellow beets, roasted, peeled, and cut in wedges
6-8 cups fresh mixed salad greens
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
2-3 ounces goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Whisk the vinegar, red onion, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil.
Arrange mixed greens on 4 plates and dress with a little of the dressing. Top with the walnuts and cranberries. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the beets and avocado around the salad. Top with the goat cheese, dress with more vinagrette and serve.
As I mentioned the greens are outstanding. I like to saute mine in a little butter and olive oil and top them with a little balsamic vinegar and salt. They are also great with a little garlic! Delicious!
(the picture is courtesy of Heather who also loves beet greens and whose red beet green tops were much better than the tops on mine)
*A final note - leaving the beets with the peel and the top and bottoms intact when you are roasting them minimizes the color bleeding out of the beets. If you are boiling them (which also works well), still just trim off the greens and then drop them in the pot with the peels, tops, and bottoms still in place.