It wouldn’t be nutrition month without a tribute to beets. God I love beets! This colorful and sweet root vegetable may not be the richest vegetable in nutrients; but please, please, PLEASE do not overlook them.
The active nutrient in beets is betaine and it is crucial for lowering blood pressure; and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Is it a coincidence that this violet colored root vegetable stains everything it comes in contact with the color of blood? I think not. I’ve always thought of it as their way of telling the world that they are good for our vital fluids; and the nitrates present help prevent blood clots- ladies on Birth Control, I’m looking at you!
Beets come in white, gold and candy cane varieties, all of which are delicious and sweet; but the red breed is rich in anthocyanins, which have been proven, time and time again, to protect against colon and other types of cancers.
Now, I know many a beet cynic; who claim that these precious gems are the flavor of dirt- I much prefer the term earthy. But I will have you know, when beets are prepared with care and attention, they have the power to steal the culinary show! No joke; I’ve slaved over an abundant meal, and had people fawn over the simple beets at the end of the table; so if you are skeptical about this recipe, I challenge you to give it a try.
The combination of sweet carrots, sweet beets, chive dressing and the richness of the hazelnuts soar this recipe into culinary greatness. Yes, I have a flare for the dramatic, but this is no exaggeration.
Shredded Beet and Carrot Salad
2 tbsp white vinegar
9 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped chives
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp raw honey
1tsbp chopped chives, for garnish
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped, for garnish
Using a mandolin shred the beets and the carrots; alternately, use a food processor with the shredding blade. Blanch the carrots and beets, separately, for 1 minute each; set aside.
In a food processor combine the white wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil, chives, salt, Dijon mustard and raw honey; blend until smooth.
In a bowl, toss together the carrots, beets, chive dressing, hazelnuts and chopped chives. Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container.