Do you love beets???

It’s usually a resounding YES -or- an emphatic NO when people weigh in on their love (or, disdain) for beets. For some reason, people have an incredibly emotional reaction to this beautiful root vegetable. Probably more than any other veggie, to be honest.

Well, I, for one, LOVE BEETS!!! Red, Golden, doesn’t matter. Beets are my jam.

…Hmmmm, I wonder if beet jam could be a thing???…

OK, did I go too far???

This is a picture of beets and chard in the form of a heart. The photo also includes cauliflower, red potatoes, baby bok choy and strawberries
Farm box harvest photo by Elyssa Overstad.

I discovered my love for beets by happy accident. I was at a fancy schmancy boutique grocery store in The Woodlands. They had a variety of fresh juices and, of course, I was drawn to the beautiful deep magenta bottle. Without even looking, I took a shot of what I soon discovered was carrot-beet juice.

It was amazing!!!

Sweet, earthy and refreshing…my mind kept coming back to that earthy taste and my body was quickly craving more. It was delicious but, more importantly, it just felt nutritious.

Fortunately, around the same time, beets started popping up on menus all around the city. Beet and Goat Cheese Salad…Beet French Fries…Beet hummus. Add beets to your California Chopped Salad at California Pizza Kitchen? Yes, please!! Oh, and thanks for the suggestion!!

Of course, this was ‘pre-Co-op’ days so I hadn’t the foggiest clue on how to even find them- much less prepare them. Fortunately, I’m fairly fearless in the kitchen so, when beets popped into my co-op box, I was determined to master them.

THE ROASTING OF THE BEETS

Three red beets are tented in aluminum foil, drizzled with Grapeseed Oil and topped with several springs of Thyme.Most of my beet recipes start with roasting them.

If you can learn to roast them you can do ANYTHING with them.

I like to roast and refrigerate them. Then, they can be sliced, cubed, shredded…however you want to enjoy them!

To roast, set the oven to 450 degrees and preheat. Get some foil, place in a glass dish, using enough so you could lightly ‘tent’ the foil before throwing them into the oven to roast.

Chop the top and the bottom from the beets and place on top of foil. I have a friend that peels them first. I prefer to leave the skin on during roasting. I like that it retains the moisture and I prefer juicy beets as opposed to those a little on the dry side.

Beets should roast for an hour. When you remove them from the oven, make sure a knife runs through it easily and IMMEDIATELY squeeze citrus over them. The hot beet will drink up the flavor, adding a sweetness that will stabilize some of the earthiness.

A NOTE ON STORAGE

Did you know fresh beets will last MONTHS in the fridge if stored properly?

At pick-up, I encourage our members to cut the tops and use them rather quickly. For the ‘root,’ I suggest wrapping with Saran Wrap tightly to prevent air from prematurely wilting them.

At the end of summer, I will usually load up and store them so I can enjoy through the summer months. (Honestly, JUST so I can have this salad as long as possible!

Several years ago, I realized beets and strawberries where in season at the same time here in Houston. Testing my ‘things that are in season together compliment one another’ theory, I headed to Pinterest and typed in ‘Beets and strawberries,’ SHOCKED to have discovered ONE RECIPE.

But, when it’s brilliant, one is all you need, right?

The Strawberry Beet salad by A Pretty Life in the Suburbs was a game changer for me. Not only was it beautiful and delicious, it was creative, fun and BRILLIANT.

Over the years, I have played with this salad, creating several different versions.

My recipe is simple and delicious as is but, it can be dressed up a little more if you prefer.

(Did someone say add goat cheese? Or feta?)

Both cheeses ROCK the flavor of beets and can elevate your healthy salad into a crowd-pleaser.

Beets are also brilliant with any fresh herb so feel free to use what your family prefers.

I think it’s best with mint, rosemary, basil and/ or thyme but, play with your food!! Decide what you like best!!

I like to roast the herbs and the beets together and use the herbs I roasted in my salad. It’s not necessary but, it’s a little something ‘extra’ that can go a long way.

Fortunately, strawberries come into season as early as December or January around here so this is a salad that can be enjoyed for MONTHS to come.

(Particularly if you store them well as mentioned above.)

I’ve added blueberries to this salad and it was amazing. However, blueberries are only in season for a few weeks a year around here. The possibilities are endless with this recipe!!

Just trust your gut and get cooking!!

This is a small, white bowl filled with strawberry and beet salad on top of a blue and white colonial Americana plate. The dish is garnished with fresh mint springs.
5 from 1 vote
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Farm Fresh Strawberry Beet Salad

This Strawberry Beet uses the season's bounty in the most unique way. Fresh, delicious with an earthly sweetness. Like all of my recipes, this salad can be customized to your preference! Perfect as a side dish or main, the possibilities are endless.

Course Dessert, Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Farm Fresh, Farm to Table
Keyword Beets, BeetSalad, Eat local, Farm Fresh, Farm to Fork, Farm to Table, Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh Beets Tops Removed, Scrubbed Clean, Cut top and bottom
  • 3 Sprigs Thyme (Any herb will do. I prefer rosemary and/ or thyme for roasting.)
  • 1 TBSP Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 whole Orange (Any citrus will do. I have enjoyed with Lemon and Grapefruit.)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 TBSP Honey Local
  • 1/2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Mint Or, more to taste.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

  • 1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta -OR- Goat Cheese (Optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Blueberries

Instructions

Roasting Beets

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  2. With scissors, remove beet tops. Use or Store in airtight bag for later use.

  3. Scrub dirt off beets and chop the top and the bottom to create a flat surface on each side.

  4. Place beets in a glass dish with a piece of foil at the bottom. Be sure the foil is long enough to 'tent' beets prior to entering the oven.

  5. Drizzle oil over the top, add whole sprigs of Thyme or Rosemary and loosely tent the foil over the top of the dish.

  6. Roast for 1 hour making sure a knife can be easily inserted for doneness.

  7. Immediately squeeze fresh juice over hot beets and allow to cool.

Assembling the Salad

  1. When beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and slice into bite sized pieces. Place into a large bowl.

  2. Pour remaining citrus juice, chop roasted herbs and add Honey & Vinegar. Stir together, adding more honey if desired.

  3. Finish with chopped mint and chill to allow flavors to meld.

  4. Prior to serving, add any optional add-ins.

What do you think? Do you have any other ways to enjoy the glorious beet???

For example….does anyone watch Top Chef? I LOVED Chef Carrie Baird’s food on her season…but, we she made a dish with beets and talk about how she could cook them into a gummy bear type state, she immediately moved among the top of my Favorite Chef List. I am still DYING to know how to change the texture of these beauties so, if anyone knows Carrie, have her drop me a line??? PLEASE!!!

In all seriousness, drop me a line in the comments and let me know your thoughts!!

Brandi McRill is a food and lifestyle blogger who owns Flourishing Fern Farm to Home. Brandi has well-rounded interests, focusing on living an all-natural lifestyle by avoiding chemicals, using plants as medicine and eating seasonally through her veggie co-op (and Community Service Project,) Cypress Family Farm to Kitchen. She and her husband, Jack, live in Cypress, TX with 2 rescue pups, Doug and Ouisie (pronounced Wheezy!).

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