Beets are wonderfully rich in both color and taste. Their sweet taste comes from their high sugar content, but that doesn’t mean beets aren’t healthy. Beets actually belong to the same family as spinach, chard and quinoa, which have increasingly justified themselves being listed as some of the world’s healthiest foods.
Betalains are the pigments that give beets their dark red, purplish color. These phytonutrients are shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, a combination that can help ward off many types of cancer. Beets also contain a high amount of nutrients and mood boosting substances, so it is the perfect new addition to your weekly meal plan.
The following Cuisinart Original Recipe makes a great side dish or lunch salad and is sure to win anyone over.
Roasted Beet Salad
2 pounds fresh beets
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or fruit flavored vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 bunch watercress, washed, dried, tough stems removed
1 head of endive, cut into ¼-inch pieces on the diagonal
1/2 cup shelled white pistachios, lightly salted
Remove stems and leaves from beets, leaving about 2 inches of stem. Scrub beets well to remove dirt. Place beets on cooking rack in ceramic pot of Cuisinart® SlowCooker. Cover and press the on/off button to turn the unit on. Set time to 2-1/2 hours and press High. Once beets are cooked through, remove to cool. Turn off slow cooker.
Once beets are cool enough to handle, rub each with a paper towel to remove the skins. (Beets may be sliced or diced and served warm at this point.) Cool/chill whole beets while preparing salad. Place vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to emulsify. Add the oils in a slow, steady stream while whisking, and continue whisking to emulsify; reserve. (The dressing may also be prepared in a food processor or blender.) Cut cooled beets into ½-inch cubes; reserve. Place a wide layer of watercress on a large serving platter. Next, make a narrower layer of endive slices. Top with a mound of beets. Sprinkle with pistachios. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Note: Salad may also be composed on 8 individual plates.
I love beets, but never knew that they were in same family as spinach, chard, or quinoa! - Judy Bradley