Rosemary Roasted Beet and Root Vegetable Feta Salad
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Rosemary roasted beets add a depth of flavor, taking this Swiss chard and romaine green salad up a notch. Crisp peeled carrots and black radish bring a kick, rounded out by feta cheese and a slightly sweet vinaigrette.
For the salad:
1 medium to large red beet (about 1 cup), diced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh crushed rosemary (from fresh sprig)
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
sprinkle of black pepper
1/2 cup peeled and cut carrots
1/2 cup slivered black radish
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss chard
6 cups cut hearts of romaine lettuce (about 2 hearts)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon mustard (Dijon or yellow mustard work well)
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. For the beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Dice beets and toss with 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary (remove from stem and finely dice), 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a sprinkle of pepper in an oven safe dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Above is a photo of my daughter removing the stem from the fresh rosemary. Pulling against the direction the leaves are going helps to easily remove it.
3. Remove beets from oven and let cool.
4. Prepare the remaining vegetables. Peel the carrot, discarding the outer peel, then continue to use a vegetable peeler to prepare them for the salad. Cut in half to make bite-sized slices.
5. Peel the black radish, slice thinly (about 1/8 inch) and the slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch sticks.
6. Wash the lettuce and Swiss chard. Remove stem from chard and slice into shreds. For the lettuce, I like to use a plastic knife, as the metal knives tend to cause the lettuce to brown.
7. Prepare the dressing. Thinly mince the shallot and combine with 3/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 tablespoon mustard and 3/4 teaspoon salt. I like to use a mason jar to be able to shake the dressing to mix well. Store in refrigerator.
8. Prepare the salad by placing the greens in the bottom of a big bowl. Add the roasted beets, peeled and sliced carrots, slivered black radish and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette when ready to serve.
With the holiday season underway, I am always looking for tasty and unique dishes I can bring to celebrations. I usually opt for a vegetable of some sort, because personally, I like vegetables. Also, because of my background and interests in health and nutrition, it is often assumed what I’m bringing will be on the healthier side. Lastly, I try to make it a dish I know my kids will eat, because while I may be a little more adventurous, they tend to often stick with what they like when eating out.
So that brings me to this salad. I had just received a huge box of goodies from Goodness Greeness – all organic and fresh. There were so many vegetables it was hard to figure out a good direction for this salad. I often feel inspired by meals I eat when dining out, and go by the tastes I can try to recreate on my own. However, so many of the salads, while delicious, they are very similar. I wanted to go outside the box and really find some flavors that worked well together.
Beets are a favorite of mine. Aside from being a nutritional powerhouse known for supporting the body’s natural detoxification process and being rich in minerals, they are delicious when roasted. Sold - beets were in.
Swiss chard (pictured below) is a hearty, yet somewhat soft leafy green vegetable. I wanted to include it because it complements the crispness of romaine hearts really well, plus adds extra fiber, as well as vitamins C and K.
Carrots, while quite common in the U.S., are quite an amazing root vegetable. Not only are they brilliant in color, they offer copious amount of beta carotene (converted to vitamin A in the body) and help support healthy eye sight. I like to use a vegetable peel to get a perfect thickness, and then cut them a little smaller to be perfectly bite-sized!
Now for my favorite addition to this salad – the black radish. To be honest, I was not too familiar with this awesome little root vegetable. While it is black on the outside, it is pure white on the inside, much like it’s familial counterpart, the red radish. There is a hint of heat that comes after a bite or two into this little guy. From being a digestive tonic to supporting the immune system, the health benefits of the black radish seem endless.
You couldn’t get a more delicious and nutritious salad when combining these root vegetables with the crispy Romaine lettuce and softer Swiss chard, and tossing with the accompanying Honey Lemon Vinaigrette. Feta cheese brings just the right amount of zing and balances out the crunchiness with a softer side.
A note about organics and why I feel it is incredibly significant to buy root vegetables that are certified organic. While there are some vegetables and fruits that are known to be more contaminated with pesticides than others, root vegetables are often overlooked as being important to buy organic.
However, if you think about it, they are growing at the heart of the soil. The leaves of these veggies, where the pesticides and other chemicals are sprayed, are not the concern. What is alarming is where these chemicals end up. These toxic pesticides and herbicides leach into the soil below, right where the root vegetables grow and live until they arrive on our plate. If anything, root vegetables are one of the most important vegetables to purchase organic!
Some other healthy sides: