My childhood self would probably be gagging, but as an adult I have grown to love beets. I typically cook with red beets and the only downside is that they have such strong natural coloring that they will literally stain everything that they touch, so proceed with caution. Beets are fascinating to me because they have served so many purposes throughout history – a few fun facts:
- Beets have been used in many medicines throughout centuries.
- Beets are considered an aphrodisiac – it is said that the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, ate beets to “enhance her appeal”.
- Beets were used as cheek rouge and lip stain in the early 19th Century, which is where the phrase “red as a beet” originated.
- When foods were rationed during WWII, bakers used boiled beet juices to make Red Velvet Cakes – now days most people just use red food dye, but you can still find some recipes made with beets.
- Beets are used to produce refined sugar and their production accounts for about 20% of the world’s sugar.
To learn more about beets and their history read this article from PBS, which is where I sourced most of this information.
All that being said, I love the taste of beets and they happen to have a variety of many nutritional values as well. Here is a recipe for my favorite simple beet salad. I like to make this on Sunday evenings and eat it throughout the week. Enjoy!
Roasted Beet Salad
Delicious Roasted Beet Salad
- 4 - 6 Large Red Beets, peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, minced
- 1/2 Cup, crumbled Goat Cheese
- 1/4 Cup, Toasted Pine Nuts
- 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Orange
- Butter Lettuce for Garnish (optional)
- Step 1 Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2 Remove the tops and roots of the beets, peel using a vegetable peeler and chop into small chunks.
- Step 3 Toss beets with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Step 4 Bake for 30 to 35 Minutes or until tender.
- Step 5 Remove from the oven and coat with the Raspberry Vinegar and Orange Juice.
- Step 6 Sprinkle with salt pepper and cover with goat cheese and pine nuts.
- Step 7 This dish is great served warm or chilled.