Beets topped a 2008 New York Times list of “the 11 best foods you aren’t eating.” The article noted they’re “a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.” We like beets because they taste great. So the health benefits are an added bonus.
Beets have another distinction. Unlike other root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, which are in season during cooler months, beets are at their seasonal peak starting in June.
Anna Getty shares our liking for beets. The heiress, yoga teacher, environmental activist and cookbook author has created a beet and watercress salad with an intriguing twist: The salad is dressed with a curry vinaigrette. It also contains chopped walnuts and fresh corn. (Click here to get the recipe.)
Getty, the great granddaughter of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, said the salad was inspired from a dish she would buy at a natural foods market in Los Angeles called Erewhon.
“They used to serve a delicious beet and watercress salad in the deli case, and when they stopped making it I had to create something similar,” she writes in her cookbook Easy Green Organic (Chronicle Books, 2010), where this recipe appears.
The beets are steamed until fork-tender. Once cooled, Getty recommends peeling the beets with your hands under cold water so that the skins slip off easily. (If your hands turn pink, Getty suggests rinsing them with lemon juice; alternatively, peel the beets while wearing rubber gloves.)
The cubed beets are combined with watercress, corn kernels and walnuts. The salad is dressed with a vinaigrette made using half a shallot, Champagne vinegar, curry powder, honey and extra virgin olive oil.
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