Sunday, January 11, 2009

I hate beets...or do I?

I've always hated beets. I often describe them as tasting like dirt. But, those were generally beets out of a can, so maybe that doesn't count. Anyhow, I guess you could say it's a New Year's resolution, but I'm branching out and trying new things. And beets are in season at the farmer's market.

At a picnic a few months ago, Nicole brought a beet salad that I actually liked. That was a turning point, and the difference was that she used fresh, raw beets. They were crispy - and yes, they were earthy, but not overbearing. So, here's an easy new beet salad that I invented tonight.


1 medium-sized apple (any crispy variety like Fuji, or even sour Granny Smith)
3-4 radishes
2 large fresh beets, washed with greens removed (and saved for salad or wilting on the stovetop)
handful of chopped pecans or walnuts
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons red balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

Wash and chop the apple into bite-sized pieces. Dice the radishes into small pieces. They will add a nice, crispy kick to the salad. We found the radishes in mixed-color bunches today, but liked the regular red ones (the spiciest) the best in the salad. Slice the beets into thin strips (but not as many as the picture). Toss the apples, radishes and beets together in a medium-sized bowl. Throw in a handful of pecan or walnut pieces, and stir everything together.

In a separate, small bowl or cup, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, tarragon and mint. This was my first time experimenting with agave nectar, which is a low-glycemic natural sweetener. I'm not sure yet how much of it I recommend using (because the sweetness comes from fructose, which is also a sugar), but I'll get into more of that in a future post after I've played with it some more. Anyhow, you should be able to buy it at most natural food stores, and Trader Joe's has their own brand. In any case, sweetener is probably not essential for this recipe.

You may have noticed that fresh tarragon has been in a lot of recipes lately, but that is mostly because I'm still using up the bunch I bought last week (for $1!). Tarragon's sweet-savory taste works really well for this salad, and the mint is a perfect flavor complement to the overall crispy texture.

Toss everything together, and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so. Serve on a plate with a few slices of gorgonzola or bleu cheese - traditional allies of the beet, and a creamy contrast.

Beet on Foodista


  1. Ha! I knew one day you would be a beet convert - can you call Dan and tell him to like beets too?? :) Salad looks yummy! maybe I will try it out on Dan and see if I can sway him to the beet side of the street.

  2. Yeah, you got me! I'm now recommending beets to others. Maybe you can trick Dan and not mention the beets - just tell him you used red food coloring in the salad. The beets are so crunchy raw, he might not make the connection. :)