Fall is the time to collect and enjoy root vegetables like roasted beets. This is also the time of the year when root vegetables store up their nutrients to survive the long winter. Therefore, that’s when they are most nutritious and flavorful!
When you buy beets, I suggest going organic because many varieties have been genetically modified. You can buy beets with their leaves or with just the roots. The greens are rich in many minerals and vitamins. You can be cooked the same way you cook other green leafy vegetables like kale, chard etc. For this recipe we only need the beet roots. Traditionally, people considered beets an excellent blood tonic. Additionally, the phytonutrients in the beets, which give them their beautiful color, also enhance detoxification and support liver functioning. Beets are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Due to this they help promote heart health and lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels.
Arugula has a sharp and somewhat bitter taste. Fortunately, it’s actually good for us! Because bitter taste stimulates the secretion of digestive juices it enhances the digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In this recipe I use the sweetness of the roasted beets to offset and balanced the bitterness of arugula. Arugula belongs to the cabbage family together with broccoli, kale and cauliflower and has similar health supporting properties. It is rich in glucosinolates – the powerful antioxidants which support detoxification pathways in the body, vitamin K, beta-carotenes, and folate.
Roasted Beets and Arugula Salad
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Clean the beets under cold water but don’t peel or cut them. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about one hour, or until soft. Use a fork or a knife to determine if the beets are done all the way through.
- Take the beets out of the oven and let them cool until they are cool enough to handle with your hands. They should peel easily, especially if they are still warm. I recommend using rubber gloves to protect the hands from turning bright red!
- Cut the beets into ½ to 1 inch cubes, transfer to a bowl, add nuts and vinaigrette and mix together.
- Arrange arugula leaves in the bottom of a serving bowl and place the beet/nut/dressing mixture on top and serve.