I’m broadening my food eating horizons here with this roasted beet and grapefruit salad. I even included the beet greens for extra nutritional punch and a zesty salad dressing with a surprise secret ingredient. The result is a delicious dish that is also completely paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) friendly.
Every week we get an organic produce box from a local service delivered to our house. I look forward to that delivery every week – it is like a food lover’s Christmas! Although we have the option to swap out any items we don’t like each week and substitute something else, most weeks I just take the box as is and then challenge myself to make something tasty, even if it is using ingredients we aren’t in love with.
Classic example: beets with beet greens attached. Beets are one thing, but what about the greens? I’d heard they had some nutritional value, but was shocked when I did some research and found out just how much! In fact, there is far more nutrient density in the greens than in the beets themselves. They contain huge amounts of both vitamin A and vitamin K, which is important for bone health and is a common vitamin deficiency in people with Crohn’s disease. Additionally, beet greens are good sources of vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
But how do they taste? To my pleasant surprise, they have a nice mellow flavor once cooked and cooled. Paired with the tartness of “supremed” grapefruit segments (Not sure what that means? Check out this link for a tutorial!) the beets taste pleasantly earthy and slightly sweet.
To finish the salad, I drizzled it with a very simple vinaigrette dressing made of just three ingredients – one of which might be unappealing to some, but I assure you that it does not taste the least bit fishy. Rather, the anchovy paste (look for a brand that contains only anchovies, oil, and salt – this is the brand I use) adds a nice salty umami flavor and helps the oil and vinegar emulsify, much like a bit of mustard would do. I discovered this secret ingredient when I was following a strict AIP and eliminated all seeds, including mustard.
Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad Recipe
- 3-4 medium beets with beet greens attached
- salt and pepper
- 1 large grapefruit
- 1-2 tablespoons sliced or chopped red onion
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut greens off and peel beets. Rinse greens and set aside.
- Sprinkle beets with salt and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in baking dish and roast in oven for about 1 and a half hours, or until cooked through.
- Allow beets to cool completely, then cut them into slices about ¼ inch thick.
- Bring a medium pan of water to a boil, then cook the greens in the boiling water until soft (about 4 minutes). Drain and cool under running cold water, then squeeze water out of greens and chop them into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Cut peel and outer membrane off grapefruit, then cut the segments out of the membrane (see link above for an illustration of "supreming" a citrus fruit).
- In an empty jar with a tight fitting lid, combine vinegar, olive oil, and anchovy paste and shake vigorously.
- Assemble salad by either layering or tossing cooked greens, beet slices, grapefruit segments, and red onion.
- Pour dressing over entire salad.
More ways to prepare beets and beet greens
- Naturally Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Simple Sauteed Greens – Real Food Kosher
- Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Butternut Squash – The Sprouting Seed
- Pickled Beets – Small Footprint Family
- Beet Kvass – The Nourishing Cook
Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.