Beets are rich in carotenoids. “…all the bright-colored fruits and vegetables (orange, red, yellow, green) contain vitamin A and lycopene, which have the proven capacity to inhibit the growth of cells of several cancer lines…” (Anti-Cancer by David Servan-Schreiber, page 122).
I just finished making Mark Bittman’s recipe, Beet Salad with Garlic-Walnut Sauce, as shown on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qnmk7jjOpg ! The Beet Salad looks beautiful! Tastes great! Is easy to make! And is so very healthy! It’s a KEEPER!
Mark uses two very clever cooking techniques in his recipe:
- He shows you an easy way to steam beets in foil, and when they’re cooked you just rub off the skins! Because you will be rubbing off the skins, I don’t think it’s necessary to scrub your beets clean before cooking them…as long as you rinse your beets under running water after they’re cooked (and skinned).
- He shows you how to heat garlic in oil and slightly brown it before using it in the salad dressing. That’s a great idea! It takes the biting edge off the garlic so you can use lots of garlic in a salad dressing – and garlic is very healthy! I plan to use this technique in many more salad dressing recipes!!!
And…I just want to suggest a few variations to Mark’s recipe:
- I used less dressing — about half the amount Mark used per bunch of beets, and I kept the remainder for another salad. It would probably be great on a spinach salad…
- I sprinkled a little “something green” (chopped cilantro) over my beet salad, as he suggested. I also sprinkled some freshly grated orange rind (fron an organic orange). I used a microplane to grate the orange rind, leaving the bitter white part on the fruit.
- Also, it would be very pretty to put this beet salad on a bed of thinly sliced oranges (rind removed).
Storing your fresh beets
If the beets you bought still have the greens attached to them, cut the greens off close to the beet. That’s because the greens are feeding on the nutrients in your beets, even after the beets have been harvested. (Note: The same is true for carrots with the greens still attached.) By the way, beet greens are edible. They can be cooked just like you would cook collards or kale. And you’ll find beet greens (identified by the red stem) in almost all field green salads.
No time to cook?
Just buy baby beets ready-to-eat (steamed and peeled) from Trader Joe’s (in the refrigerated section near the pre-cut veggies).
P.S. I know beets aren’t exactly the most popular food these days, and you may not have eaten any in years…so let me give you a “heads up” about something. Beets may darken your stool and give a reddish tint to your urine. Nothing to worry about! It’s just beets; that’s all.