June 12, 2010

the joy of beets

Last week I made this salad for dinner, and I was asking myself - why don't I make beets more often? ? So easy, so nutritious, and absolutely delicious. I used to think they tasted like dirt - the result of trying them as a kid in a recipe that didn't quite suit my tastes. Now I love their rich, earthy flavor.

Plus, beets are packed with lycopene and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. According to the ADA, "Red" fruits and vegetables such as beets help maintain a healthy heart, vision, and strong immune system and may reduce cancer risks. Beware while cooking beets though, because they can stain your clothes!

beet salad with oregano, pecans, and goat cheese
fine cooking magazine

serves 3 to 4
4 or 5 medium beets (red, golden, or a combination)
1 1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbs chopped, lightly toasted pecans

If the beets have leaves and stems, trim off the leaves and all but 1/4 inch of the stems. Wash the beets. In a pot with a steamer basket, steam beets until a knife enters them easily (25-40 minutes, depending on size). Set aside until cool enough to handle, but still warm.

Peel the beets; the skin will rub right off. Trim and discard the tops and tails and cut the beets into thick wedges. Transfer the beets to a large serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the goat cheese, oregano, and pecans over the beets and serve. Serve at about room temperature.

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