In my quest to Eat the Universe of color, of course beets came into the picture. I LOOOOOOVE beets. In my first garden, I planted beets and garlic. That's it. Then I pickled the beets. I love beets roasted, steamed, pickled, shredded, and pretty much whatever other way you could make them. How can you not like something so beautiful. They're my favorite color, well, one of my favorite colors. I like golden beets too, but somehow, not as well. I know beets aren't everyone's fave, however. And, thus, when I was inspired to make this salad, I was wondering if I would be the only one eating it. Now, that wouldn't be a bad thing, but a mama always wants her cubs to be happy.
Beets are all kinds of awesome beyond their color. While they do have a high carb content, they're usually kind of self limiting because they fill you up and are sweet and satisfying, so, in reality, I couldn't have eaten that whole plate by myself... that night, at least! They're also great for our digestive system. I actually was having some 'sluggish gall bladder' issues earlier in my pregnancy and beets were on the list of foods to help with that. They are high in a nutrient called betaine, which protects our cells and fights inflammation. They're great for our immune and cardiovascular systems and helpful for detoxifying. They also contain Vitamin C, potassium and more.
Here's one of my favorite ways to use beets. I've done it with roasted beets before, and that's the best. But, I didn't have time the other night, so I steamed them. If you do both purple and golden beets, and then slice them and alternate them... well, this dish is a stunner. I'm calling it Beet Caprese because it's got basically the same ingredients as a Caprese salad, except beets instead of tomatoes. Here you are:
Beet Caprese Salad
1 lb beets
1/2 cup basil, cut into ribbons
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup chèvre, crumbled (optional, but so yummy) you could also use fresh mozzarella or feta
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Scrub beets and trim off the leaves or weird dried up ends. (Save the greens for making a nest for your salad or for stir frying later) Either roast beets in a 400 oven for 40 mins-hour. Toss beets with 1-2 T coconut oil first--You can cut them into chunks and it will go faster, or roast them whole so you can slice them--or steam them. Cut in quarters, bring 1/2 inch of water to boil, drop in beets, turn down heat and steam for 15-20 mins or until tender. Cut in chunks or slice, depending on how pretty you want your salad to be.
Arrange beets on a plate. Sprinkle basil and pine nuts over the top. Spread the chèvre evenly over the salad (it's messy, but the bonus is you can lick your fingers!). Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I don't know how much... just drizzle until it looks like it will taste good. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
The kids liked it. I hope you do too!