Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chop! Chop! Chopped Salad with Beets

There are two types of people in this world.
  • Those who are rabid for beets.
  • Those who haven't tasted beets. :P

I'm obviously the first type, or I wouldn't be writing about the awesome chopped salad that I whipped up over the weekend.

As a kid, I ate lots of fresh beets from my Papere's garden. My mom would boil them up in her biggest pot. Once cooled, she'd peel them, all the while mumbling under her breath about the stains the beets left on her fingers. Still, she turned out some beautiful beet salads that the whole family, with the exception of my sister, ate. I don't know if my sis has ever actually tried a beet. I just know that she'd wrinkle up her nose and say, "Ewwww!" every time Mom served them up.

One of Mom's best salads was a very simple combo of beets, hard boiled eggs, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Unfortunately, that's just not the kind of salad you can throw together in advance and have throughout the week, unless you don't mind it becoming a mushy, pink mess.

With my mind set on beets for lunch, I scanned the pantry, fridge, and garden looking for things that would keep well and taste great.

The chopped salad I came up with was exactly what I was looking for. As an added bonus, it was a great way to "eat a rainbow" (Skittles don't count!) of nutritious foods in one sitting.

Chopped Salad with Beets
8 oz chickpeas, cooked and drained
8 baby beets*, quartered
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small orange or red bell pepper, diced
10 golden pear tomatoes, halved
8 radishes, quartered
2 large nasturtium leaves*, chiffonade
3 large basil leaves, chiffonade
nasturtium flower* (optional, for garnish)

1. Combine all ingredients except nasturtium flower in a large bowl.
2. Toss with Citrus Dressing.
3. Chill for 2 hours.
4. Serve as is, or atop a bed of greens.
5. Garnish with a nasturtium flower.

Citrus Dressing
Combine your favorite orange juice with dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper to taste. (Sorry, no measurements!)

* A couple of notes about this salad:
  • You don't have to boil beets. You can roast them quite easily in the oven.
  • Because my beets aren't ready for harvesting yet, and because I was too busy to buy and roast fresh ones from the market, I used Melissa's brand baby beets. You can find them in the produce section of some grocery stores.
  • Use only unsprayed nasturtium leaves (and flowers) for this dish. I used my own nasturtiums, and I don't use pesticide sprays.

3 red beans:

Karen said...

Mmm, I love fresh beets and this salad looks wonderful!

Geggie said...

Yum! I have everything for this and will be making it this week. I love beets so much. Damn the stains, I don't care.

Make a Roux said...

Thanks, Karen! I'm enjoying Karen Cooks! Your photos are beautiful!

Woo! Geggie, please let me know what you think and post any improvements you come up with!

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