I grew up eating beets regularly in my home. My father grew them in his garden, and I regularly give jars of my mother's pickled variety as gifts.
Yet, like many, I went through an anti-beet phase in middle and high school. Still not sure why that happened, but I slowly came back around in college (especially once I realized they go beautifully in salads and with goat cheese).
Beet & Citrus Salad
There are many takes on beet salads with citrus, but I loved the sound of this version from Simply Recipes.
For the salad
6 beets, roasted
2 oranges (blood, navel or a mixture), cut into segments
1 bunch of mixed greens
1/2 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
For the dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Roast the beets whole, covered in foil, at 400 degrees for an hour, or until done. Allow to cool and peel using your hands.
Note: I've done my fair share of roasting beets at home and staining my hands in the process of removing the skins. However, Costco now sells packs of roasted organic beets ready to serve. They are amazing. I highly recommend them!
While the beets are cooking, prepare the dressing and prep the rest of the ingredients. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a jar, cover and shake until well blended.
Cut the beets into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Toss with a little of the dressing and chill for an hour or up to two days. If using different colors of beets, be sure to keep the colors separate. Pink or red beets will bleed color.
When ready to serve, place mixed greens in two bowls. Sprinkle half of the remaining dressing over the greens and toss to lightly coat the leaves. Place beets, citrus, mint, parsley, over the greens, sprinkling with the chopped roasted pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with the remaining dressing or toss everything together.
While this salad does call for mixed lettuce or kale, I skipped the greens altogether. My mason jar just couldn't fit all the ingredients no matter how much I tried to squish it all down.
When lunchtime came, I poured out the salad contents on a large plate and drizzled the citrus dressing over the top.
That dressing, oh my goodness. So simple and fresh. It would be perfect to balance the bitter toughness of kale.
I also added some chopped roasted chicken, a nice addition since this salad was my main mid-day meal.
Whether you add the greens or not, I highly recommend this as a change-up to your usual salad routine. Just beware the beet juice!