I love beets! Raw or cooked, they are one of the healthiest vegetables you can find. They are a good source of fiber, folate and potassium, and they are also extremely rich in antioxidants, in fact more so than almost any other vegetable.
But did you know that our ancestors only used the leaves and discarded the root, as it was too small to eat? It is only over time that cultivation created beets with larger and sweeter bulbs. Today we mostly eat the bulb and usually throw out the leaves. Yet beet greens are among the healthiest greens and are perfectly edible. You can use them the way you would use swiss chard or spinach, for example.
When buying beets, choose the varieties with the darkest red color, for the most nutritious choice. When cooking beets always cook them with their skin on. And know that the beets that are sold with their greens are always fresher than the ones sold without.
Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges on Orange & Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 3 medium sized beets, approx. 16oz (450g), roasted
- 2 oranges
- sunflowers seeds
- micro greens
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons raspberry puree
- ½ tablespoon red balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- ½ tablespoon roasted almond oil (or any other nut oil)
how to roast beets
Start by cutting off the greens from your roots and set them aside for another meal, as mentioned in the introduction. Wash the roots and pad them dry with a paper towel. Place the whole roots on a piece of aluminum foil and coat them with olive oil and salt before closing the foil to obtain a little wrap. Wrap them individually or all together. Place the foil wrappers on a sheet tray to avoid any oil dripping into the oven. Roast at 375 degree Fahrenheit (190 degree Celsius) for about 1 to 1½ hours or until tender. Roasting time varies depending on the beet size. Preferably roast beets together that have about the same size. Check for doneness from time to time. When done, take out of the oven and let cool until you can handle them. Peel them. Use immediately or store in the fridge until ready to use.
How to make the raspberry puree
Use fresh or frozen raspberries. If using frozen ones, thaw before using. Strain the raspberries threw a mesh sieve using the back of a spoon to collect only the puree in a bowl underneath, discarding the seeds.
- Start by roasting the beets. See instructions above. Roasting the beets can be done in advance. Store them peeled in the fridge until ready to use.
- Prepare the oranges by making suprêmes; cut them over a small bowl to collect the juice that we will use for the vinaigrette. After removing the orange segments from the skin, squeeze the remaining orange to extract as much juice as possible before discarding.
- Roast the sunflower seeds in a pan without oil on low heat for a few minutes until they start browning slightly. Toss from time to time. Be careful, they roast very quickly.
- Make the vinaigrette, by whisking all the ingredients together except for the oil. Then slowly whisk in the oil until well emulsified.
- Slice the beets about one eight inch thick or less. Place them on a plate, garnish with the orange segments, some micro greens, sprinkle with roasted sunflower seeds and add the vinaigrette.