One of my fondest memories from my childhood is my grandmother's pickled beets. Your first impulse is to say yuck, beets. Gross! But let me ask, have you ever had home made pickled beets? Made with cinnamon, all spice and cloves? Let me tell you, they are amazing! Yes, amazing. I am not talking about those awful things they served in the school cafeteria that were swimming in some kind of white sauce and were absolutely tasteless. Even roasted beets are wonderful. No, we are talking pickled beets.
I recently purchased about four pounds of beets at the farmers market. They were not too big, still dirty from being right out of the garden and had the tops on them. My first thought was pickled beets here we come. Let me tell you about the nutritional value of beets. First, they are very high in fiber. They contain potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, folate, betaine and many trace elements. They are known to be anti-cancer (especially colon) and anti-inflammatory. Pickled foods are actually very high in bifidobacteria, a necessary or "good" bacteria that aids in digestion and immune health. So, before you toss out the thought of pickled beets, consider all the benefits they have besides being delicious.
I will post the pickling recipe at a later time, but I wanted to share the salad I made using my pickled beets. (You can purchase pickled beets at the grocery, but they aren't quite as good.) It was absolutely wonderful. Here is what you need:
Romaine lettuce or any mixed greens
1/2 cup pickled beets, sliced thin
1 avocado diced
1 medium tomato, diced
fresh mozzarella cheese
If using romaine, slice it in ribbons across the head and then cut the ribbons in half. Place the lettuce or mixed greens in a salad bowl, layer avocado, tomato and beets on top. Dice some fresh mozzarella and scatter over top of salad.
1/2 cup good virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic turned into paste - do this by putting some coarse salt on a cutting board, mince garlic clove, then using the side of a big knife blade (like a chef's knife), place one hand on the knife handle and the heel of the other hand on the flat knife blade and mash the garlic back and forth in the salt until it becomes a paste
fresh cracked black pepper
mix ingredients together and serve on the side with the salad.
This salad is so good and so full of nutrients and fiber which is an even bigger benefit. Give it a try. You may learn to like pickled beets after all. As Dolly Levy said to Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly, "Eat your beets, Horace, they're good for you!" If you are a fan already, good for you! Another recipe to add to your book.