Americans just don’t have the same respect as the French for the humble beet. This is unfortunate, as beets are as versatile as they are nutritious! If my previous beet recipes such as Janine’s Pink Soup didn’t convince you, perhaps this one will. Today’s simple salad recipe begins with plain ol’ boiled beets and – hang with me for a moment, ok? – lets them loaf around in a delightful marinate for a few hours. The marinade imparts a fantastic flavor on the beets, and also serves as a build-in dressing for the salad. So easy, so delicious.
8 cups mixed baby greens
16 spears of asparagus (or substitute green beans)
3 fresh beets
1 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed herbes de provence
1/2 teaspoon grey sea salt
lemon zest (to garnish)
Step 1) Remove tops ONLY from three fresh beets, and simmer the whole beet bulbs in water for 45 minutes or until beets are fairly easily pierced by a fork. You don’t want soft/mushy beets, but they shouldn’t be rock hard, either. Think “al dente” like pasta.
Step 2) Remove beets from pot and place in ice water for a few minutes to cool.
Step 3) While beets are cooling, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbes de provence, and sea salt. Set aside.
Step 4) Trim ends from asparagus spears (or green beans). Blanch them by placing them in boiling water for 1 minute only… remove quickly and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Step 5) Peel beets (the skins should slide right off when you rub them), slice them into 6 or 7 pieces each. Place beet slices in a shallow bowl and cover with a little more than half of the marinade. Set in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
Step 6) Place asparagus spears (or green beans) in a second bowl and cover with the remainder of the marinate. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Step 7) After enough marinading time has passed, assemble your salads. Toss walnuts and greens together and arrange on four plates. Top with beet slices and asparagus (or green beans). Drizzle with a bit of the marinade, and garnish with lemon zest. See? Beets really ARE delicious!