Since starting this blog, I’ve gotten over a number of foods I didn’t think I liked: radishes, carrots, and I’ve recently come around to pepper. (I know, pepper is a weird one).
My husband is not a picky eater by any means —there are about five foods he’s adamant about not eating. I just find it a fun game to work these things in. The only thing left on the list is grapefruit, and I’ll save that for another day.
So how do you trick someone into eating beets? Like everything else, you have to prepare the beets a different way. For texture and sweetness, I roasted just a few and hid those underneath. I thinly shaved the rest, marinated them in a lemony dressing, and kept them raw. Their crunch works nicely with the chewy wheat berries, (and also they don’t taste as beet-like). I also added some crumbly ricotta salata, (not pictured), which is optional but recommended.
As Jack was devouring his plate, he said “I think this is my favorite salad you’ve made.” I kept my little secret to myself, but the cat’s out of the bag now.
- 2 small yellow beets
- 1 small chioggia beet
- ½ large black radish
- handful of watercress (or arugula or other spring green)
- ½ cup cooked wheat berries
- handful of chopped spinach
- toasted pine nuts
- crumbled ricotta salata
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (a good fruity one)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- handful of fresh herbs: oregano and chives
- salt & pepper
- (Do ahead): roast 1 of the yellow beets until fork tender. Let it cool, peel it, and thinly slice it. Chill until ready to use.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Use a mandoline (ideally), thinly slice the other (raw) yellow beet, the chioggia beet and the black radish.
- Toss together the raw beets, watercress, some of the dressing, salt & pepper. Let that sit for 20 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until the dressing reduces the bitterness in the radish. (taste)
- Warm the wheatberries slightly and toss them with the spinach and some more of the dressing. Place the roasted beet, raw beets, radish and watercress on top along with some pine nuts and crumbly cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more dressing if you like.
I’m using this olive oil right now, and it’s delightful.