Avos, Grapefruit and Beets, Oh My!
By Mark Mulcahy
OH MY! Is exactly what I uttered when I tried these three together in a salad on a recent visit to Portland, Oregon. What a perfect time of year to enjoy this combination of textures and flavors. This delightful dish sent me searching for a recipe to make at home. Here is what I found and adapted from Love and Lemons
Avocado, Grapefruit and Beet Salad
How to Make It:
Wash beets (you don't need to peel them yet), drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 35-60 minutes, or until fork tender. Roasting concentrates the beets’ flavor, preserves the beautiful red color and brings out their natural sugars (as high as 8%percent). Once cooked the skins will slip off easily.
Once your beets are cool to the touch, peel them with your fingers, feeling the skin easily slip away. Slice beets into 1-inch wedges. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and set aside.
Slice out the segments of your grapefruit in a large bowl to catch the juice, reserving some of the juice to drizzle over the salad at the end. (Make sure you remove as much of the white rind and pith, as this is where any bitterness may be, and you won’t want to distract from the beautiful flavor combo you are creating here.)
Chop avocado into cubes.
Lightly toast pistachios (just enough to warm them up) and add just a light sprinkle of salt.
Assemble salad greens in the center of the plate, add beets, grapefruit segments and avocado so the colors accent each other and top with the pistachios.
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and some of the reserved grapefruit juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some late season organic corn on the cob.
If you are new to beets then this may be the perfect gateway into enjoying them more heading into the fall and winter.
There is an old produce adage that says, you can’t beat beets. It turns out, the only thing to top a beet is its greens. Beet greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as potassium and calcium, and a very good source of many B vitamins, iron and protein. It has been shown that the high alkaline content can even help lessen a smoker’s desire for nicotine. Just because the greens are such a powerhouse doesn’t mean the root isn’t worth eating. Beetroots are a valuable part of any diet, full of essential vitamins, minerals and unique antioxidants that promote optimal health, support detoxification, reduce inflammation, and may protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers. With this 2-for-1 vegetable in mind it’s easy for everyone to want to keep the beet with the rhythm of the changing seasons.