Beets have been called “red spinach” and I believe Popeye would agree. The earthy orbs are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Beet eaters claim greater energy, too—physical, mental, sexual—possibly because beets improve blood flow.
So if beets aren’t making it into your grocery cart, you might want to give them a chance. There are so many ways to eat the hearty root vegetable. Raw is easiest. For a single serving, wash, peel and grate a beet, or two, with your box grater and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Or pickle your beets for salads. Alton Brown has a simple recipe for refrigerator beets, though I bypassed his exotic choice of tarragon vinegar and used cider vinegar.
Recently I found a convincing recipe, even for beet doubters. It’s Ina Garten’s Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad, that got 5 stars from all 19 online reviewers! There wasn’t a naysayer in the bunch. Some weren’t even beet enthusiasts before eating this dish.
The recipe has a few pricey ingredients, like goat cheese and Marcona almonds, which gave me pause. But I soldiered on. (I later noticed that commentators substituted whatever nuts they had on hand. I used slivered almonds.)
Ina was encouraging in her film clip, as she showed how easy the recipe was to assemble. Though it takes an hour to roast the beets, don’t skip this step. The long, high temperature is necessary to coax the sweetness into the open.
Reviewers also noted that the recipe made far more dressing than necessary and I thought so, too. So use your judgment on dressing the salad. You can always keep the reminder for other salads and feel ever so virtuous for the savings. Recipe here.