I didn’t acquire a taste for beets until well into adulthood- a few years after I learned to appreciate sprouts and avocado. I’m not sure what happened to me; I was roaming the salad bar at the hospital cafeteria (must have forgotten to bring my lunch that day) and decided to give those beautiful slices of burgundy a try. It was a pleasant surprise, like discovering that grumpy co-worker is actually a really cool person and a good friend, you just have to be brave enough to try.
For the next few years I only liked pickled beets, but then my brother in law, Patrick, made me a roasted beet salad that changed my mind. A little bit of lemon juice and a few choice toppings and those little red balls that previously tasted like dirt (ok- maybe just earthy, but I feel like exaggerating) turned into something I often find myself craving. I was happy to learn that beets are incredibly nourishing for the liver, along with fresh cilantro (one of the best detoxifying foods you can eat), which happen to be the two main ingredients in this festive looking dish. Now I don’t feel so bad about my growing fondness for whiskey (living in the south made a mark me) It’s all about balance- right?!
As with all dishes, especially salads, this one is easily adapted to your favorite tastes. I just finished a bowl of this red and green goodness, so I’ll share how I made mine and you can tweak away.
The first few times I made this, I bought fresh beets and roasted them. Since then I’ve discovered pre-roasted, packaged beets at Costco and most grocery stores, and in my experience the price hasn’t been that different- so I’m quite pleased to skip that step.
ROASTED BEET SALAD
4 medium or 8 small roasted beets, chopped in ½ inch pieces
Handful of chopped, fresh cilantro (I go really heavy on it cause I love the flavor and it’s super healthy)
¼ cup or more of toasted pecans
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 -3 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh makes a big difference if you can)
2 -3 Tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkle of salt (feta is salty, so you may not want to add any)
Opt: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, diced onion
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a medium serving bowl
Add the chopped beets, cilantro, pecans and cheese
Mix well and enjoy
If you plan to save some for later, set the pecans aside and add right before serving so they don’t get soggy
This recipe makes about 3 cups- 4 smallish servings (or one big serving if you gobble the entire bowl for dinner like I just did)