Summer Fest: 4 Beet Salad Best Bets

By: Cameron Curtis

Red or gold, beets are rich in folates, potassium and vitamins niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine. The red variety is higher in anthocyanins, which are believed to have strong antioxidant properties. Choose beets with tops attached and, if you're cooking a bunch at one time, try to keep them similarly sized. They can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator for about two weeks but you'll probably be tempted to eat them right away. Featuring them in hot or cold salads really lets their flavor shine.

If you've got the time and can roast your own beets, cooking them for an hour or so at 400 degrees F while wrapped in foil with a drizzle of olive oil should do the trick. If you're in a rush, the packs of already roasted and sealed baby beets are a huge time saver. Serve the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, tarragon and almond-topped beet salad with warm, crispy goat cheese rounds.

This intensely garlicky beet salad is known as zakuski, or a little bite served at Russian parties. The original recipe features grated beets, lots of garlic, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. This version adds in lemon juice and zest, dates and chopped walnuts to help mellow the garlic flavor.

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Kelsey Nixon's Roasted Beet Salad

Photo by: Kelsey Nixon ©2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kelsey Nixon, 2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kelsey roasts beets in sealed foil on a baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once they've cooled she rubs off the skins using a paring knife, if needed. Toss them with toasted almonds, vinaigrette, julienned pear slices, greens and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

Lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and pistachios are all you need to make Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos' beets shine. This big-batch recipe is a great side dish for your next dinner party.

More Beet Recipes from Family & Friends:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Star Anise Ginger Pickled Beets

The Heritage Cook: Rosemary Roasted Beets, Potatoes and Peppers

Virtually Homemade: Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese
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