Beet Salad Recipe: Heart Beet

July 9, 2010

Like broccoli, beets seem to bring out the worst in people who shun these vegetables.

In the case of beets, it’s a texture thing they tell me. And broccoli is just too strong a taste! Too bad, because beets and broccoli are two of the healthiest veggies you could eat. Those who are anathema to having beets pass their lips probably were subjected unfairly to the canned variety for which there is no redeeming quality.

Right now, root vegetables like beets are in season, although you can find them all year long. I have been harvesting beets from my garden for a couple of weeks now. I planted a rainbow mix of yellow, red and purple varieties.

Did you know that the beet tops are also delicious added to a green salad? Beets are a form of carbohydrates that do not contain any fat and are low in calories. They are high in antioxidants which help to fight all sorts of cancers. They protect against heart disease and have been known to help in the battle against colon cancer.

My favorite way to prepare them is as a marinated salad with mint, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes I add dabs of creamy goat cheese and toasted pecans or walnuts for variety.
However you choose to have beets, your heart and your overall health will be the beneficiaries, and you just can’t beet that!

Rainbow Beet Salad

Serves 4

6 large beets, a combination of yellow, red and orange
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white rice wine or white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/4 pound creamy goat cheese, in bits (optional)
1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)

Cook the beets unpeeled in boiling water until a knife is easily inserted; drain, cool, peel and cut the beets into thin slices.

In a shallow glass dish, mix the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, honey and salt together.

Make rows of alternating colored beets in the dish. Use a brush to coat the tops with some of the marinade.

Sprinkle the mint over the beets. Cover and allow to marinate several hours at room temperature before serving.

If using the cheese and nuts, sprinkle over the beets just before serving.

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