A comforting warm salad packed with nutrition that is satisfying enough as light and very healthy meals on its own, warm baby beet salad is made with the roots and leaves of baby beets combined with hard-boiled eggs and snap beans, butter beans, wild garlic and onions, cooked in red wine, mustard, and butter. The easy healthy recipes salad are sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese. Quite an elegant dish, this makes a stellar starter for a fancy dinner or lunch. Serve with a rose wine for a memorable meal.
A smaller version of the common beetroot, baby beetroot can be either yellow or red and has a diameter of about 1.5 centimeters. Baby beets have a finer and more tender texture than the larger beetroots. Their leafy green portion is also edible and has a texture and taste that is similar to spinach. Rich in fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, and Vitamin C, baby beetroot is a good source of nutrients and makes a healthy food choice. Its tender texture makes in an ideal ingredient for salads. They can also be eaten raw.
Select baby beetroots that are firm and smooth with no damage on the skin. The color should either be dark red or a vibrant yellow. The red baby beetroot variety has a sweet flavor and commonly available all year round, while the yellow variety is less sweet and has a fresher taste. It is in season from October to December. Before cooking, wash the baby beetroots, careful not to puncture its thin skin.
Ingredients: 8 very small beets (Chioggia and golden recommended), including greens, ½ lb. snap beans, washed and chopped into 2” lengths, 1 C fresh, shelled, butter beans, 2 cloves wild garlic, minced, 6 green onions, chopped, 2 tbsp. butter, ¼ C red wine, 2 tsp. prepared grainy mustard, 4 eggs, hard boiled and diced (optional), ½ C feta, crumbled
Separate the beet greens from the beet roots. Gently wash the beet roots, being careful of their thin skin. In a large saucepan, cover the beet roots with water and bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes (until beets are easily pierced with a fork). While beets are boiling, wash the beet greens and chop them into ribbons (chop the stalks into 2” lengths). In a small saucepan, hard boil the eggs (5 minutes on a rolling boil, followed by 5 minutes off the heat), then drain them and place them in the fridge to cool. Prepare the snap beans, butter beans, wild garlic, and green onions as detailed in the ingredients lists. Peel and slice the cooked beets, and shell and chop the hard boiled eggs. In a large skillet, combine the butter, red wine, garlic, mustard, onions, butter beans, snap beans, and beet greens. Sautee for 5-10 minutes, until beet greens are bright and butter beans are easily pierced with a fork. Layer the sliced beets over the greens mixture, and top with diced hard-boiled egg and crumbled feta. Serve and enjoy.
Instead of boiling the beetroots, as in this recipe, you can also roast it or grill it, which will coax out its natural sugars and make it sweeter and more intense in flavor. While it is best to use fresh baby beetroots, you can also use the canned variety for making this recipe.