4 September 2008

Mixed Green Salad with Beets and Pecans - "Out, Out Damn Spot"

Mixed Green Salad with Beets and Pecans
I found this recipe deep in the recesses of my unpublished posts. Do you love or loathe beets? What have beets done to done deserve their widespread hatred? Perhaps it's because they tint your hands, counter tops and cutting board red and they stain your clothes. "Out, out damn spot"; laments Lady Bellini Valli. Wear gloves and an apron or better yet roast your beets. When you boil them they loose their beautiful ruby tones and become palid and sickly looking.



You also get a two for one deal when buying beets from the farmers market by getting the beet greens as well!!!!!!

The solution, as already mentioned, is to simply roast the beets whole. Roasting is a dry heat cooking method. Beets are delicious and quite nutritious. When roasted and drizzled with olive oil there is almost nothing that outshines their beauty.

I make this recipe often which made me want to share it with you. This time of year we find different varieties of beets in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours. Red and purple roots are the most popular, but you can also opt for white and gold varieties, which won't "bleed" when you cut into them. The play of colours is really beautiful!!!!

The sweet taste of beets reflects their high sugar content making them an important raw material for the production of refined sugar; they have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, yet are very low in calories.

The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color(betacyanin) is a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets' potential effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been demonstrated in several studies. Not only are they are a beautiful ruby colour and a pleasure to your visual senses but they are good for you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roasting is the easiest way to cook your beets. Not only do the skins slip right off but you also maintain very important vitamins by roasting . Cooking them this way is easy and I'm sure you have all been baking yours for years.

Beets are one of my all time favourite root vegetables.... look at that deep, ruby colour of these little gems...what's not to love.

**Mixed Green Salad with Beets and Pecans

4 beets, such as red, golden, Chioga or a combination
1/3 cup broken pecans
1/2 to 3/4 pound salad greens, preferably a mix of baby greens and arugula
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon and parsley

Dressing:

1-1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar (I used apple balsamic vinegar because once again it is what I have:D)
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed, optional
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

For salad, cut away beet leaves by slicing across top end of beet, about 1/2 inch above where stems and root meet (save leaves for another purpose). Scrub beets under warm water with vegetable brush. Place them in baking dish. Add about 1/4-inch water. Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size of beets. (Medium beets take about 45 minutes, small ones 30, and really large ones take 1 hour). Test for doneness by sticking a knife into a beet. It should slide in easily. Remove beets from heat and allow to cool. When cool, slip skins off by rubbing with fingers. Cut beets in half lengthwise, then slice or cut them into small wedges.

Toast pecans in dry skillet over medium heat, shaking pan or stirring nuts, until they begin to smell toasty and are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer them immediately to a plate or bowl.

Toss beets with salad greens, pecans, goat cheese and fresh herbs.

For dressing: Mix together vinegars, salt and pepper to taste, garlic and mustard. Whisk in oils. Taste. If you want dressing to be a bit more tart, add another 1 teaspoon vinegar. Toss with salad and serve.

Serves 4 - 6

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

22 comments:

  1. Love beets and that sounds like a great way to use them!

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  2. First one! first one! He, he still a kid in my brain!
    I'm a beets detractor... not for me, thanks! But I must admitt their colour is beautiful and the rest of the salad with those pecans... MMmm

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  3. I've seldom cooked with beets - not because of a dislike or wariness of mess - but just because I never think of it!

    This salad sounds delicious.

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  4. ;0) well, duh, I think it's been only about 3 years ago that I gave up on "I don't like beets" to roasting them like this and just being wild for them now. Salad is one of my very favorites.

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  5. Val, I love all your salads, you make such nice combinations.

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  6. Yup - I'd totally dig into this!

    -DTW
    www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm envious of all the different varieties of beets that you said are available to you. I've only ever seen the common red ones, but they do come in different sizes, depending on the time of the year. I really like using beet leaves - it's so surprisingly tender & tasty.

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  8. I agree. Beets have had a tough time being accepted. I think it's the messiness that puts people off. However, "Lady Bellini Valli"...LOL you have proven how wonderful they are with this simple and delightful recipe.

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  9. YUM! You've made my favoritest salad of all salads. It's completely my favorite. I adore beets! The greens, the roots, roasted, boiled, pickled, you name it. I love them. Especially with chevre.

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  10. I love beets! Love, love, love them. This salad looks so delicious! I've had them in salads before, but this salad looks so much better than what I've had! It would be worth having red fingers to be able to eat this!

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  11. I love beets. Another thing we have in commun (potatoes). This is a good way to eat them. I'm off to the market tomorrow and I'm buying beets.

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  12. I never really got into beets. Thinking about it, I'm not sure why. I don't know what they taste like and can't remember if I've ever actually tried them. I do know I always remove them from plate.

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  13. I too belong to the category who do not like to taint their fingers with beet juice, and use it sparingly!! I have one beet that has to be used and I am trying this with pine nuts - spot or no spot:)

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  14. I love beets and so does my little girl....she has a permanent red ring around her mouth if I have beets in the fridge. Roasting them to me is the best way...the flavor is way more intense...I love the look of this salad.

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  15. I love beet in all ways. This was look very good. (BTW thanks for visiting.)

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  16. You know I love beets, Val. This looks great. Mmmm pecans.

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  17. You're right - what's not to love. I also love the orange beets and mixing the two together is something special. Beets are also one of the power foods for good health.

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  18. Love beets, and love making salads when I find a variety of beets at the farmers' market.

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  19. there's nothing like the combination of beets and pecans and goat cheese. I think the addition of herbs in a salad, too, makes such a difference. I often forget to add them, but when I do, I really notice a difference. this looks yummy.

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  20. Mmmmmm lovely! I am definitely all for beets :)

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  21. Hmm, I'm one of those who is hot a beet fan. For me, it's the earthy taste that I don't like, and the fact that I grew up only knowing them pickled, and I really didn't like the flavour. I've recently discovered roasted beets - they are a whole other world!

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  22. Do you think you could make this with pickled beets?

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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