One of the most popular salads today has ingredients with roots in Bible times. I’m talking about this delish salad of arugula, beets and goat cheese. And this salad would be a good one to add to your diet cleanse if you’re into that sort of thing. Why? Read on!
In many cases, foods eaten during Biblical times were much healthier, as they were organically grown and never eaten to excess. Beets were one of the popular vegetables, though not mentioned specifically in the Bible.
The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second century BC. It started out as a wild plant By the 8th century beets were eaten by the Babylonians. The ancient Greeks used beets for food and as medicine, and the Jewish Passover even today includes beets, often with horseradish. The ancient Romans considered beets an important health food and an aphrodisiac.
Were both the beet greens and the root eaten?
Not at first. In ancient Greece, the beet tops or greens were used, but it was in ancient Rome that people started growing beets for their roots as well as the greens. Beets have a tolerance for salt, so they would grow well in land reclaimed from the sea. .
There are many varieties of beets today, unlike when we were kids and the red beet was the one commonly grown.
Now there are beets that are striped like candy canes, along with beets that are the color of carrots, cylinder shaped beets – these are great for slicing – and light golden beets, which are nice because they don’t bleed. There are even beets grown to produce an important pantry staple, sugar.
Good for you!
Beets are a cousin to Swiss chard, so the value of eating beets is huge: lots of vitamin C which is good for our immune system and stress, and even the greens are a good source of calcium and iron. Beets help prevent cancer and birth defects..
ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH ARUGULA AND GOAT CHEESE
This serves 8 with 3 pieces beet each.
Dressing: Whisk together:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or more to taste
3 tablespoons finely minced red onion
2 tablespoons honey
Then whisk in:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 nice sized beets, your favorite, roasted ** peeled and quartered into 8ths
6 oz fresh arugula
1/2 generous cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
4 oz. soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss the roasted beets in a small bowl with barely enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Toss the arugula, walnuts, and 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.
Preheat oven to 375. Lay on foil lined cookie sheet with sides and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper if you like. Depending upon how large your beets are, it will take an hour or 2 to roast. When they’re done, a knife can be inserted in the beet and will come out easily. Let cool and peel.