Beets have long been a Diva favorite, though of late I've been a bit wary due to their sugar content. Turns out there's more than just the sweet stuff inside these ruby red beauties. Beets are rich in Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese Phosphorus and Copper. They are also high in Vitamin C, Folate and fiber, and contain smaller amounts of Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Riboflavin to name but a few.
While they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, there are enough mitigating nutrients for me to feel good about eating them regardless. And, hey, they're delicious - especially when roasted.
This is another no recipe - recipe ... meaning the measurements are loose and you shouldn't feel constrained by the list of ingredients. While beet topped salads are more traditionally paired with a soft goat cheese - cheddar was what I had on hand last night. I believe in using what you've got so use whatever cheese you like here. Ditto for the nuts. My intention was to top the salad with some salty smoked almonds ... as it happened I didn't have any and neither did Fairway. I opted for sesame coated almonds instead and no one cried.
Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with Sharp Cheddar and Sesame Almonds:
Basic Lemon Vinaigrette:
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- pinch of Kosher salt
- generous grating of fresh black pepper
- handful of chopped fresh parsley, chives or dill
For the Beets:
- 4 large beets, washed, peeled and cut into cubes (about 1 inch or so)
- 2 tsp. Champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Composing the Salad:
- some baby arugula, romaine or any kind of greens you like
- Basic Lemon Vinaigrette
- Roasted Beets
- some shaved sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever kind you like)
- some chopped sesame coated almonds (or whatever kind of nut you prefer)
As written this recipe will yield 2 - 4 salads, depending on size. Smaller salads make a lovely side dish or starter course, while larger ones can be the focus of the meal. I served mine with some excellent roast chicken and a more perfect summer meal I cannot imagine.
Big ups to my bro for all the delicious produce this week. The season's only just begun and we're off to a tasty start!