Recipe For Health
Recipe by Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Beets Yield: Serves 6 Learn more about Beets

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. or 1 bunch of golden beets
  • 2 lb. or 1 bunch of red beets
  • 4 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. cracked black pepper
  • 2 heads of frisee, washed, dried and chopped
  • 2 heads of Belgium endive, washed, dried and chopped
  • ½ c. julienne red onions
  • 3 oz. Maytag bleu cheese
  • 6 T. almonds, toasted
  • 1 ½ c. sherry vinegar dressing (see recipe below)
  • Sherry Vinegar Dressing:
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. white pepper
  • 3 T. sherry vinegar
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • ½ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. canola oil

Preparation

Place the bleu cheese in the freezer for use when assembling the salad. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Place each of the different type beets into their own tin foil roasting pan and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the beets are tender. 

Remove the beets from the oven; when they are cool enough to handle, peel the beets and slice into ¼” thick round disks and reserve separately for the salad. 

Arrange the beets on a salad plate, alternating colors with 5 or 6 beet slices per plate leaving a hole in the center for the greens.

Place the greens and onions in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Place the tossed greens on each plate in the center of the beets. 

Remove the cheese from the freezer; use a grater or a micro plane to shred ½ ounce of cheese on top of each salad. 

Place toasted almonds on the salad as a garnish.

Sherry Vinegar Dressing Directions:
Mix the mustard, salt, pepper and vinegars together; slowly drizzle in the olive oil, then the canola oil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Learn More About Beets

Beets are a two-for-one special: buy the root and get the greens—or vice versa. 

The Greens: Harvested small, beet greens appear in spring mixes. As for the greens that come attached to the root, use a sharp knife to remove them from the root leaving an inch of stem. Greens should be used within a day or two. Wash them in cold water, strip the greens from the stem and steam for 5 minutes. A simple dressing of vinegar, oil, salt and pepper is all you need. 

The Roots: Not all beet roots are beet-red. Some are golden, some striped (Chioggias). Choose beet roots that are less than 3 inches in diameter. Leave the root tail, skin and an inch of the stem intact. Beets will keep, loosely wrapped, in the refrigerator for a week or two. 

To serve beets raw, peel and shred them. When cooking beets, scrub them being careful not to damage the skin or they will drip their juices as they cook. Proceed with one of these methods:

  • Roast: On a rimmed tray with oven temperature at 400°F, roast large beets for an hour or more, smaller ones 30 to 40 minutes. 
  • Steam: Put scrubbed beets in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and cook for 20 to 40 minutes depending on the size. 

Beets must be cooked until completely tender. A thin knife blade should slide easily into the beet. Cool; then, wrap in a paper towel and rub off the skin; or peel with a paring knife. If your beets are red ones, protect your hands and any porous material as beets are notorious for staining. The earthy sweetness of cooked beets is brightened by a tangy drizzle of lemon juice or vinaigrette. 

Beets have been around for thousands of years. Does the beet go on in your kitchen? 

Peggy Crum MA, RD

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