Nothing Like Mom’s Beets from a Can
Our warm Roasted Beet Salad with Walnut Dressing is nothing like those nasty beets from the can. These are earthy and flavorful. Did we mention nutrition? Beets are loaded with fiber, iron, protein, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium and potassium – all while being extremely low in fat. One cup only has 59 calories and less than a half gram of fat. Beets are also a wonderful winter veggie, available all fall and winter from markets and CSAs across North America, and they come complete with edible green tops! Bonus! One cup of beet greens contains more than 200% of your needed Vitamin A for the day.
A Nutritional Powerhouse
What we’re saying is, beets are a nutritional powerhouse and you need to embrace them. With this recipe, we make use of the beet root and beet greens, and add only a simple dressing to complete the dish. Handling beets is moderately tricky. You need to get the skins off of them. We prefer to slow roast beets and peel the skin that way. Be sure to wash your hands, nails and counter top/kitchen tools as soon as you are done handling beets, because they will stain! This is also a good time to wear an apron. Don’t want to peel your own beets? Many grocers, including Trader Joe’s, sell peeled beets in the produce section. These don’t come with greens, so sub in your green of choice for this recipe, such as kale, arugula, spinach or collards.
As written, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free and has no added oil. It will serve four to six as a hearty fall or winter side dish. In the photo, we served over Grilled Romaine, instructions here (omitting bleu cheese, if you want to keep the recipe vegan) from a past Sister Eden blog.
- 6 medium to large whole beets, with greens
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
- juice of one lemon
- 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- salt/pepper, to taste
- 2/3 cup chopped shallot
- about 1/2 cup water, as needed
- two romaine lettuce hearts, halved and grilled, to serve, (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Remove green leafy tops from beets and set aside. Wash beet roots thoroughly, cover in aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan.
- Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool slightly, still under aluminum foil.
- While beets are in the oven add garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper to a blender or food processor. Process until very smooth with no large chunks of garlic or walnuts. Dressing should be thick and creamy. Set aside.
- Also while beets are baking, thoroughly wash beet greens. Sometimes they are sandy or dirty, so check carefully. Slice into loose ribbons and place in a saute pan with chopped shallot and water. Flash steam greens and shallots for 3 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat. Greens will be wilted, and shallots softened. Set aside, covered, in the pan. Liquid should be mostly steamed off.
- If making grilled romaine to serve, make them now, before peeling the beets.
- To remove beet peels, push skin off using your fingers. Gently apply pressure in a downward motion from the stem. The skin will literally peel off with only a little bit of pressure. If skin doesn't easily strip away, the beets may need more time in the oven, so try another 10 minutes. Be sure to wash your hands right away after handling beets, their juice will stain your skin and nails! Also rinse your cutting board and dishes, as beets can also stain counters and cooking surfaces.
- When beets are peeled, toss with steamed greens, shallots and walnut dressing.
- Serve warm over grilled romaine, or as desired. It's also tasty over steamed rice or as a side by itself.
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