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All about: beets

Beet saladLos Angeles, September 13th, 2016- Yellow or golden beets add so much flavor to a simple spring and summer salad that even the biggest critic won’t complain. Golden beets are a deceivingly delicious root vegetable, they have a unique and earthy flavor that differs from their counter part the typical red beet.

As we know beets grow beneath the earth’s surface but what you may not know is beets come in a variety of colors: red, yellow, red and white and even rainbow colored.

While working in restaurants I had buckets of beets to cook and peel in every color.  My gloves would be dripping and dyed with vibrant colors from the beet juice. The days the beets were really fresh the juice would be so intense it would soak through the gloves and stain my hands.

At night after a hard days work I would crawl into bed, grab a book and it was then  I would the deep color and the earthy smell that was left on my hands and fingers. Beets will leave a lasting impression on your hands and your palate.

 

Ten things to know about beets.
  1. Beets come in a variety of colors; yellow, red, red and white striped, yellow and orange.
  2. Beets come in a variety of sizes; small, medium, large and baby.
  3. Avoid beets with long roots, as they can be woody in texture.
  4. Red beets bleed and can dye anything it touches, including hands, cutting boards and other beets that it touches.
  5. Protect your hands from beet juice by wearing gloves while you remove the skin.
  6. Beet skin can be easily removed after it’s cooked through either by roasting, braising or steaming.
  7. Beet skin is easier to remove when the beet is cold.
  8. You can use beet juice as a dye and to add a hint of beet flavor to many foods like goat cheese, rice and even fresh pasta.
  9. Beet greens are delicious in salads.
  10. Beets can help relieve headaches.
  11. BONUS: Salt can discolor beets if added during cooking.

Enjoy!

Roasted golden beet and goat cheese  spring salad:

 

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bag or box of mixed baby greens lightly chopped
  • 1 bunch of yellow beets
  • 6 oz goat cheese Chevre is a good choice
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Basil Pesto*

 

Dressing Ingredients:


  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon zested
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

 

*Pesto Ingredients:

  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 1 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan
  • 1 lemon juiced

 

Directions:

In a blender, blend the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and lemon juice, next add olive oil and finish blending. Set aside.

Next cut off the top and the bottom of the beet, then place them into aluminum foil with a little salt, olive oil and water. Shut the package tightly.

Roast the beets in a 350-degree oven for an hour. They should be very soft to the touch. After they cool, use your fingers to gently remove the skin by peeling it. Then use a sharp knife and cut them into circles or wedges.

In a small bowl mix the vinegar with the Dijon mustard to create a thick base and then add the oils slowly while mixing to create an emulsion. Next season with a lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the lettuce together with the beets, the remaining pine nuts, salt and pepper and dressing. After you are finished have plated the salad top it with the goat cheese (the beets can dye the goat cheese it is tossed with it).  Garnish the salad with drizzled pesto and fresh cracked pepper.