Mixed Green Salad with Beet Puree
A simple nutritious salad full of superfoods as a starter for any meal or when you have relatives over for the holidays.
GIVE ME SOME GOOD BEETS!
The saying goes that you should eat your greens. In this case we are promoting the ideology of eating more beet salad! (In moderation of course) This root vegetable has some impressive stats like low calories, but high in folate. It is a natural antioxidant that helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins from the bloodstream. They lend fiber to your diet plus a host of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, manganese and folate. According to the National Institutes of Health, certain groups have been identified as potentially high risk for folate deficiency. These are pregnant women, women of child bearing age, alcohol disorders, celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). Studies have shown that folate has been linked to reducing the risks of different cancers, autism, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
I love salads, but I hate boring salads. This is a different way to enjoy beets which are a healthy part of a balanced diet. I love adding nuts and cheeses to raw salads to change it up. In this beet salad, we paired beet puree with our creamy herb vinaigrette to mix up the earthiness with some bright herbs and citrus.
*CrossEat Tip: Nuts have a tendency to get stale and/or rancid if not stored properly. They are not cheap. For most recipes, you only need a small amount. To preserve the longevity of your nuts, store in your freezer or use them in other recipes.
ROASTING THE BEET(S)
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove the stalk if any from the beet. Cut 1/4″ off the top and bottom so the beet can sit flat. Wash the beet in cold water, but do not dry. Line a 9×9 baking pan with tin foil. Place beet in the pan. Drizzle beet with 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Pour 1/4 cup cold water into the pan. Cover tightly with tin foil and place into the oven. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Very carefully remove the foil. There may be hot steam coming out of the pan. *Once the beet is cool enough to touch, peel the outer skin off by hand. It should come off easily.
*Tasting Notes: If you want to skip the puree, chill the roasted beets then cut in thin sliced bit sized pieces and add to the salad.
*CrossEat Tip: Fresh beet leaves are edible and nutritious. Treat them similar to kale by cutting the leaves then toss with some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
MAKING THE BEET PUREE
Small dice the beets and add to a blender 1/2 cup at a time. Add any residual beet juice from the roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Blend on high speed until you have a smooth puree. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to catch any large pieces so you have an even puree. If the blender is spinning, but the puree is not fully smooth, add additional 1 tablespoon water if necessary. I always check and taste to adjust seasonings as needed.
BUILDING THE BEET SALAD
Combine the mixed greens, **frisée lettuce and radicchio together in a medium mixing bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of beet puree on the center of each plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon. Toss the greens with herb vinaigrette based on your taste. Place equal portions on plate over the beet puree. Top with feta cheese crumbles and toasted chopped walnuts.
**Tasting Notes: To prep frisée lettuce, cut off the bottom stem and discard. If the upper leaves are a dark green, I usually trim some of this because they start to get tough. The lighter green and yellow portions are the most tender part. Hand pick (tear) the lettuce by hand or with a knife into smaller pieces. Even though these are washed, I still ice bath and drain to keep them nice and crisp.
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