To see the print-run version of this recipe at The Advocate, see here.
One of my favorite ways to serve seasonal root vegetables is this recipe for sliced beets tossed with goat cheese, arugula and pecans. While it can be difficult to snack healthfully during the holiday season, beets make it easy to consume good-for-you nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and potassium. The addition of leafy green arugula adds a subtle peppery flavor that is quickly mellowed by tart goat cheese and sweet toasted pecans. This combination is both sweet and savory, making the perfect ruby-red salad for your next holiday dinner party.
Pictured: Farm-fresh Beets from the Baton Rouge Farmer’s Market.
To save time, I’ve suggested using jarred or canned beets in this recipe. But, if farm-fresh beets are on hand, roasted beets have more nutritional benefits and flavor. Just keep in mind these basic tips to get the most out of your cold weather produce:
Size – When buying beets, keep an eye out for smaller sizes, as the vegetable is far tenderer and requires less cooking time than larger ones.
Weight — Heavier is always better when it comes to produce. Make sure beets are heavy for their size and firm.
Roasting – Roasting beets couldn’t be easier. Simply wash and roast whole on a lined baking sheet until the beets are tender and the skin pulls off easily when cool. To keep your hands clean from red stains, make sure to wear gloves when handling cooked beets.
Serve this salad at your next dinner party for a fresh take on seasonal root vegetables. The results are low in calories and always good for you this holiday season.
Beets with Goat Cheese, Arugula and Pecans
Yields: 6 (1-cup) servings
*1/2 cup pecans, toasted
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 (16-ounce) jars or cans of sliced beets, drained
*2/3 cup arugula
*2 to 4 ounces Goat Cheese, to taste
1.) Toast pecans in one-tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool completely.
2.) Toss beets, arugula and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut goat cheese into small pieces. Sprinkle goat cheese over beets and combine. Serve chilled.
3.) Roasting Fresh Beets, recipe alternative: to use fresh beets for this recipe, preheat oven to 375F and wash beets, trimming ends. Spread whole beets across a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or other protective surface and roast for 45 minutes, or until beets are soft all the way through and skin peels easily.
Pictured: scrubbed and trimmed beets for roasting (liner: Silpat mat).
When beets are cool to the touch, pull skin off the beets and slice into circular rounds, 1/2-inch thick.
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Written by: Helana Brigman