Aside from their reputation for maintaining their color throughout the digestive process, the dark color in the root of beets is also known to have powerful cancer fighting properties. Beetroot stimulates the liver’s detoxification processes and contains fiber which has been shown to increase the levels of antioxidants in the digestive system. Beet greens are higher in nutritional value than their purple lower halves, and taste similar to chard. They can be sauteed and eaten warm or included in a salad served cold, similar to spinach.
I’ve met a lot of people who at the mention of the beets turn up their nose. But when asked when the last time they ate the simple root, it usually becomes clear that it’s been a long time. If the only experiences you’ve ever had were with canned beets or maybe the pickled variety, I can understand your likelihood to believe that you dislike them. But I’ve got news for ya- there’s plenty of ways to have beets aside from Borscht!
Now that the bounty of summer veggies has passed and winter root vegetables are abundant, hearty stick to your ribs recipes seem to be coming out of the woodwork. A fresh salad to break it up sounds like a winner however!
(serves 4 as a side dish)
- 4 small roasted, peeled beets, cut into wedges
- 1 large navel orange
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and very roughly chopped
- 1 large Hass avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 ounces baby arugula
Zest the orange and set the zest aside. Cut the top and bottom off the orange and cut off the peel, making sure to cut off all the white part. Slice the orange crosswise into slices, then cut each slice in half.
In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar or lemon juice, Dijon mustard and orange zest. Whisk in the olive oil. Toss most of the dressing with the arugula, onion and beets, and place on a serving platter. Top with the orange slices, avocado and hazelnuts. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.