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You Can't Beet This Salad (it has beets in it)

A lot of people don't like beets, and I can see why. Your first experience with beets is usually at the salad bar where they're the vaguely gross "what manner of veggie is that?"-type thing. Squishy, juicy, purply, they stain everything, and if you ask the person next to you at the salad bar for advice they'll say, "Ew, beets. I don't know anyone who likes them." And on and on the vicious cycle goes.

Well you need to break that cycle and get up with beets! The best way to do this is to prepare them yourself. Don't get the canned ones that are soaked in vinegar or brine like at the salad bar. I mean, personally, I like the creepy salad bar ones, but I'm still the only person I know who does.

Rowan rocked out the beets the other night by making a salad with them.

Preparing the Beets
Firstly, and I thought this was weird but it works, cut the ends off of your beets and place them in a shallow pan whose bottom is lined with sea salt. Bake them this way till they're softish in order to leach out lots of the messy beet juice and make them easier to peel.

When you take them out of the pan you're left with these weird sheets of baked beet salt chips. Not very tasty, but they're pretty to look at.

Once you've peeled your beets, slice them up into rounds. Probably best to peel them over the sink since they can still dye your countertop and clothes pretty good.

Preparing the Dressing
Rowan made her vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt. Not the beet salt I don't think, but that might not be a bad idea (Update! Rowan just told me she did indeed use the beet salt. Waste not, want not!). You end up throwing out almost a quarter cup of salt as it is, may as well get some use out of it.

Preparing the Salad
The time has come to put it all together. Don't chump out on me and leave the beets aside.

Lay down some tasty greens (or iceberg if you're feeling old-school), then drop on some feta, sliced cucumber & red onions, walnuts pieces, a chopped hardboiled egg and then, ta-da, the beets.

Drizzle with the vinaigrette and you're all set.

This is a fairly quick meal if you discount the time it takes to bake the beets at the start. If they're particularly large they can take around 45 minutes or so.

Beets are filling and good for you. They have anti-oxidants (probably), lycopene (I think), sugar (definitely sugar) and whatever it is that makes them purple and stainy (a sense of humor).

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Copyright © 2005-2013 Graham Cranfield