In my local Sunday Farmer’s Market there is a wonderful stall, Underwood Family Farms, that almost always (especially this time of year,) have a huge selection of beets. I go through phases with beets – sometimes I get really gung-ho and buy the magenta ones to grate onto salads and juice: sometimes I’ll buy the little golden ones to roast for a simple salad, but this week I spotted some giant pale pink ones. They looked like giant radishes, but Peggy (lovely farmer who is there every Sunday,) explained that they were candy-striped beats. I knew that they’d probably look pretty when cut open, so grabbed a bunch intending to put together a salad to beat all salads.
As far as I’m concerned a marriage-made-in-culinary-heaven is roasted beets and soft goat cheese or feta. What I love most about the salad is that aside from it’s exquisite complimentary tastes and textures, its also insanely healthy: walnuts, beets, sprouts and watercress are all in my top 10 healthiest foods category – so what a joy to be able to mingle them together into this perfect salad.
Make sure you buy enough of each ingredient so you can make this salad twice. I ate it 3 days-running for lunch this week.
Roasted Beet & Watercress Salad.
3 large beets (can be any color but the candy-striped makes it look spectacular)
I package of watercress
2-ounces of goat cheese that can crumble or feta
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup of sprouts (clover, alfalfa or broccoli is fine)
1/2 cup good cold-pressed olive oil
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp dijon mustard
sea salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Roughly oil the skins of the beets with any old vegetable oil and place the beets on a baking sheet covered with foil for about an hour or until a knife easily slips into the beet.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. I roasted my beets on Sunday and when they were cool, wrapped them up in the foil I’d cooked them in and put them in the fridge until the next day.
When you are ready to assemble the salad:
Take the beets out and slip off their skins – they should come off really easily. Slice the beets into 1/4″ slices.
Arrange a bed of watercress on a pretty plate and lay the beet slices overlapping each other on top.
Crumble the cheese and sprinkle the walnuts over the salad. Finally add the sprouts and dress.