I LOVE pickled beets. Love love love them. I will go absolutely insane at any salad bar that has them- my plate at the Jason's Deli salad bar looks absolutely ridiculous loaded with those whole beets and whole hard-boiled eggs they have out. They're just amazing, seriously.
Years ago- like almost half my life ago, actually- I had a beet-hating boyfriend. One of our favorite restaurants back then, AJ Spurs, served salads with beets. He used to order his with EXTRA beets and then put them all on my salad when they came. lol He may not have been a keeper in the long run, but I love beets enough that I certainly remember that gesture. :-)
My beet love runs deep.
I know, most people find this crazy. I get a lot of shocked expressions from beet haters when they realize that someone actually eats those funky red things at the salad bar- it seems that the overwhelming majority of people seem to think that they're gross.
WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT?!?!?
Sorry people, but you're just as wrong about the beet thing as I was about brussels sprouts as a child. I mean...not to tell you what you should and shouldn't like. You'll never convince me to eat applesauce. But seriously guys...give beets a chance. I *almost* guarantee you won't regret it. :-)
I've thought fairly hard about how to describe the flavor of pickled beets. I even googled it.
They're firm...yet soft. Earthy...yet sweet and tangy. Quite hard to describe, but all in all they're just amazing on a salad.
This month I worked with Allrecipes and Cans Get You Cooking, "a program dedicated to helping you achieve mealtime success with nutritious, fresh and flavorful homemade meals you'll feel great about serving and that your family will love." I looked over the Cans Get You Cooking collection on Allrecipes and- of course- the Beet & White Bean Salad recipe was a total no-brainer for me.
There was seriously nothing that I didn't like in it. Beets, cannellini beans, blue cheese, arugula...yum, right?
I'll just go ahead and answer that for you- yes, yum!
I stuck to the recipe, other than using a spring mix salad rather than straight arugula. Should you click over to the original recipe on Allrecipes you'll notice that I changed up the way in which things were mixed together when I wrote it up below- and the only reason for that is that beets are a purplish red color that turned those white cannellini beans an odd pink color. It didn't change the taste at all of course, but for the sake of appearance I decided it would be best not to toss the beans and beets together in the future.
I LOVED this salad, it is definitely a keeper!
P.S.- Interested in giving beets a chance? Check out this recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Spilled Milk, featuring *drumroll please* BEETS!
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (16 oz) can whole beets, well drained, halved
1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans...or candied pecans...)
Baby arugula leaves (or spring mix salad)
1. Prepare dressing: In small bowl combine cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and sugar. Gradually add olive oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place arugula leaves on platter or in serving bowl; top with beets and cannellini beans. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with dressing.