According to Carlsbad seed pioneer, Charles B. Ledgerwood, in Southern California we can grow beets, carrots, radish, and Swiss chard throughout the year. Ever since I learned that, I've been growing all kinds of beets. Pictured here is Bull's Blood Beet, just pulled from my potager. There are many wonderful beets to grow like the Italian heirloom, Chioggia, with its pretty red and white ring, and another favorite of mine, Golden Beets.
I don't know why, but the beets that I grow in my garden do not bleed as much on my hands and cutting board, as those bought from the store. I recommend growing beets in your garden, and using them in this fabulous recipe of Giada de Laurentiiis. This is a perfect recipe for the holidays with the red beets, dried cherries, and green avocado. Enjoy!
Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, slightly adapted. This salad can be made with any type of beet. Red beets, avocado, and dried cherries make for a festive salad for the holidays. A nice spring adaptation is golden beets, avocado, and golden raisins. Warning, red beets are extremely messy and will bleed. Golden and Chioggia beets tend to be less messy.
Makes 4 servings.
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, peeled and quartered
6 cups fresh arugula
½ cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
½ avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbed
Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast about 40-45 minutes until the beets are just tender and slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally. Set aside and cool.
Toss the arugula, walnuts, and dried cherries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.