Raw Chioggia Beet Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

Fall in love with a vibrant candy-cane colored Chioggia Beet Salad. Featured on NPR.org, this recipe by Susan Russo is a beautiful example of why beets are incredibly, spectacularly diverse. Creating a raw beet salad offers a nutrient-dense salad with a stunningly colorful presentation. The Chioggia Beet variety tends to be on the higher end of "earthiness" (contributed to Geosmin), so if you are beet "newbie" and are not a committed fan of the beet's flavor, the Detroit Red Beet (red table beet) may be a better first impression of beets. For beet lovers, the Chioggia Beet has the perfect sweet and earthy flavor that makes us love the beet in all its magnificent glory! 


INGREDIENTS (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

for the Salad

  • 4 medium Chioggia beets (or another beet variety) washed, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted or salted pepitas*

for the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* The pepita, a pumpkin seed, is high in zinc and other nutrients. Pepitas are available at most major supermarkets and Mexican specialty markets.

DIRECTIONS

1. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Wash and peel beets. Using a sharp knife, cut into matchsticks.

3. Place beets in small bowl.

4. Add scallions, cilantro and pepitas, and toss.

5. Add vinaigrette and toss until well coated.

Serve at room temperature.

Variation: Add diced avocado or crumbled queso fresco, a soft, mild, lightly salted Mexican cheese available in Mexican specialty markets and most major supermarkets.

Recipe and Photo by Susan Russo for NPR and http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/