Beetroot salad; 2 ways
Updated: Feb 19
With Christmas and the holidays behind us, I think a lot of us will be in detox mode, so what better way than with some healthy, tasty salads. One of my favorite combinations is beetroot, kale, walnut, and goat cheese but I know most people get turned off from kale, so I've also done a variation of beetroot with rocket leaves, almonds, and feta cheese.
I, first had beetroot salad in a restaurant and it has since become one of my favorite salads, this recipe for the kale version I have adapted from theendlessmeal.com it is ridiculously delicious! You have beets, kale, maple candied walnuts, and goat cheese tossed in a honey balsamic dressing.
The rocket leaf variation I've adapted from Ina Garten's barefoot contessa and is a lot similar but instead of kale uses spicy arugula/rocket leaves, salty almonds, and feta cheese tossed in a balsamic dressing.
Beets or beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted, steamed, or raw, and enjoyed in dishes ranging from soups to salads, cocktails to dips, and everything in between. It's even considered being a superfood with a lot of healthy benefits:
Low in calories, but tons of nutrients.
Helps regulate blood pressure.
Beets are a good source of fiber.
Beets are low in calories and high in water.
How to cook Beets?
1. Boiled beets:
To start, grab a large pot. It needs to be large enough to fit all your beets plus water. So, grab that pot, add the cleaned beets, and cover with approximately 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. As soon as the water is boiling, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until beets are fork-tender- you want your beets to be tender, but not too soft or mushy. The total time will vary depending on the size of your beets, but it should take about 30-45 minutes. Transfer beets to an ice water bath to prevent any additional. As soon as they are cool, peel the skin right off! Yes, the skin should (if the beets were cooked long enough) peel right off. Give them a final rinse and enjoy your silky smooth perfect boiled beets!
2. Steamed Beets:
Steaming is very similar to boiling beets. However, unlike boiling, the beets are not fully submerged in the water which prevents nutrients from escaping into the water.
To get started, grab a large pot and insert your steamer basket. Fill with water, making sure that the water level remains just below the steamer basket. Add the prepared beets to your pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid (key for this to work). Bring water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow beets to steam until fork tender- you want your beets to be tender. Remove beets from the pot and allow them to cool before peeling away the skin. Rinse with cold water
3. Roasted Beets:
Argued by some to be the best way to lock in the flavor of beets. Personally, I not one for roasting coz it takes a long time in the oven. In terms to taste, I find little difference. However, if I’m already planning to bake some potatoes or roast chicken, then roasting beets is the most obvious choice.
To roast beets set your oven temperature to 425 F/220 C. Thoroughly wash each beet, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Transfer the beets to a large baking sheet and allow them to roast until tender, approximately 45-60 minutes. Remove beets from the oven, carefully remove foil, and allow your beets to cool before peeling away the skin. Rinse with cold water.
Whichever way you cook your beets, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Do you need to peel beets before cooking?
No. In fact, none of these methods require you to peel your beets before cooking. Beets are incredibly difficult to peel, so unless you plan to eat your beets raw, just leave the skin on. Once the beets are cooked well, the skin will peel off easily.
The nuts add a nice crunch factor to the salad. Maple candied walnuts are sweet and crunchy and have a delicious maple flavor. The only problem with them is that it's hard not to eat all of them before they go into the salad.
The almonds just roast them in the oven for 10 mins and sprinkle a bit of salt.
Kale/Arugula or rocket leaves
I, personally love the kale's hearty texture and how it stands up to the rest of the salad, rather than shrinking into the background as flimsy, delicate greens tend to do.
I wash the kale leaves and like to massage the leaves with a little olive oil, it reduces the bitterness.
Arugula or rocket leaves have a nice peppery and spicy flavor that goes well with the sweetness of the beets.
Goat cheese/Feta cheese
I love the silky, delicate taste and texture of goat cheese, it just makes the whole salad creamier. While Feta has a more distinct salty taste and crumbly texture.
I always make my own salad dressing, it's so easy and economical. I make a bottle at the start of the week and it lasts for the week.
The whole idea is you can add, mix and match whatever ingredients you like but try the beet salad if you haven't already, it's going to surprise you!
A short video on the making of the salad https://youtu.be/SFcnAMinyFM
Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts
Prep: 20 mins
Serving: 4 ppl
Roasting: one hour
2-3 beets, peeled and quartered (or cut into bite-sized pieces if you're using large beets)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil for massaging the kale leaves
1 cup walnut halves
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
4 packed cups of curly kale, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup goat cheese
FOR THE DRESSING:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove grated or very finely minced
A pinch of sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Cook the beetroots choosing your preferred method and cut them into bite-size pieces.
To make the dressing add all the ingredients to a clean and dry bottle and shake vigorously till well combined and you get a thick emulsion.
Add the walnut halves to a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Let them cook until they start to brown in places, shaking the pan frequently. Pour over the maple syrup and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Let them cook, stirring constantly until the maple syrup has almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on a piece of parchment paper, separating them from each other as much as possible.
Wash and dry the kale using a salad spinner, and then add a Tbsp of olive oil and massage the leaves for a minute.
Add the kale, beets, candied walnuts, and the cheese. . Pour the dressing over top and toss well so that everything is coated.
Beet and Arugula salad with roasted Almonds
2-3 medium-sized beets, scrubbed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
one bunch baby arugula or rocket leaves
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup Feta cheese
Cook the beets in your preferred method, quarter them, or cut them into bite-size pieces.
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, place the almonds on a sheet pan, and roast for 10 mins, turning once until they are lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt, set aside
Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and mustard. Add the salt and pepper and taste.
Wash and dry the rocket leaves using a salad spinner.
Place the rocket leaves on a serving platter, then arrange the beets, almonds, and feta cheese on top.
Drizzle with the vinaigrette, serve at room temperature.