Wow, is that a mouthful or what. Alright now those of you who, like me, say you don’t like beets or you’ve never had them please keep reading. I had never eaten or cooked beets before creating this recipe but I said I would make the salad course for our Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party. This salad came to me as I was falling asleep the other night and I was hoping it would taste as good as I imagined it would look. Well I hope this looks great because that’s how it tasted.
The beets have a mild sweet taste that pairs really well with the creaminess of the avocado, the bite of the greens, the crunch of the nuts and the sweet citrus of the orange. It was like a little party in my mouth.
Now that I’ve eaten roasted beets I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a try. This was an easy salad to make but it can be messy if you don’t wear gloves and keep a wet cloth on hand. Make sure you check out the notes at the end for a few options. I hope you will give this a try even if it’s something new. Don’t you think this makes a great colorful presentation for an Easter dinner? If you make this please take a picture and send it in. I’d love to share your creations.
Next on the stop for our Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party is Katrina from Gluten Free Gidget with our main course. On Thursday Shirley from gluten free easily will be serving a side dish and on Friday she will be serving our dessert. If you missed the Deviled Eggs appetizer yesterday please visit Shirley for that recipe and make sure you read the story of the plate.
This recipe will make 4 plates as shown.
1-2 Organic yellow beets roasted, peeled and sliced
1-2 Organic red beets roasted, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
2 slices of red onion
1 organic avocado sliced
2 orange cut into segments
4 handfuls of frisee
1 handful of watercress
4 tsp toasted pine nuts
juice from orange
9 tsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 tsp Sherry Vinegar
Celtic Sea Salt and white pepper to taste
Scrub the beets and cut off greens. Now I’ve heard you can cook those greens like you would spinach but this was my first time with beets so maybe next time I’ll give that a try. If you have cooked beet greens please share your experience.
Now you want to keep the yellow beets seperated from the red beets or your will only have red beets. Toss the yellow beets with 1 tsp oil and 2 tsp sherry vinegar first, then the red beets next. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and make a little ridge with the foil to seperate the beets. Make sure you pull up the sides and create corners with the foil to hold in the liquids. Place the red beets on one side and the yellow beets on the other side. Add a total of 1 cup of water to the tray. If you have the same amount of beets on each side then just divide it evenly. Cover with foil, seal the edges and bake for 60-75 minutes. You can test the beets with a fork. It will not be the same consistency as a baked potato but the fork will move into the beet when cooked.
Once the beets have cooled put on gloves to peel them. If you don’t you will look like a dyed Easter egg which may stay on you until next Easter. Peeling a roasted beet is super easy. I used the edge of a tablespoon and just scraped the skin right off. I then placed it onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper to keep my cutting board from getting stained.
Cut each beet into 1/4 inch slices. Make sure you wipe down the knife before changing colors. Segment the orange (over the bowl you’ll mix the dressing into), slice the avocado and red onion and wash up the frisee and watercress. For a good representation on how to segment an orange visit Vegan Yum Yum’s post on Making Pretty Orange Segments, AKA Supreming.
I like to squeeze any extra juice from the orange membranes and any that got cut away in the skin, into the bowl. Add in 4 tsp of sherry vinegar and 8 tsp of organic extra virgin olive oil. Whip it with your whisk until it emulsifies. Add in salt and pepper to taste. That means taste it before you pour it over you salad so you know you like the taste.
For the presentation I started with a bed of frisee. Then I added the avocado and orange segments. Next came the sliced beets topped with the red onions, pine nuts and watercress. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
Do not assemble this salad until just before serving. The red beets will bleed onto the yellow beets and avocados.
For a less formal presentation you can cut the beets separately into chunks along with the avocado. Also you can cut the orange segments in half. Start with the frisee but into the center place the two colors of beets. You could have red on one side and yellow on the other or add them randomly. Around that center circle place your cut up avocados and oranges. Sprinkle the red onions, pine nuts and watercress on top and drizzle with the dressing.
If you eat dairy small pieces of goat cheese would be a great addition to this salad or if you prefer feta.
If you are not a fan of pine nuts feel free to leave them out but I would still add something in for that crunch factor. Walnuts would be a good option.
One last thought, you could always use a separate pan for each color of beets so the colors don’t run together when you roast them.