Cuban Beet Salad is a refreshing, healthy vegan salad to add to your repertoire. Here, the classic Ensalada de Remolacha gets a new spin with the addition of avocado which makes the recipe richer, more filling and negates the need for extra added oil...unless thats what you like!
I offer the recipe here as a cooked version, however if you are raw and would like to make this salad just substitute the steamed beets for thinly shaved beets, done on a mandoline, or cut by hand into matchsticks. The salad will be delicious either way!
Beets are a great addition to any diet. Besides having the fun of dying your hands and just about anything else they come into contact with, beets are known as cardiovascular health aids, having a high antioxidant profile which prevents coronary heart disease. The have high amount of vitamin C and Folate, and despite being low in calories, offer a sweet taste which curbs cravings for many dieters. Their high fiber content makes them great for digestion and their high potassium combats the side effects of too much sodium from salt and packaged foods.
Serve this salad on the side of any grilled foods, especially grilled squash, mushroom and/or asparagus. This would also pair well with any meal featuring flavorful Latin-inspired main dish proteins, like Tempeh Fajitas, Seitan with Cilantro Mojo, or Tofu Tacos.
Ensalada de Remolacha con Aquacate aka Cuban Beet Salad with Avocado
Yields about 4 cups
2 large beets, about 3 cups, peeled, ends removed
1 large avocado, halved, pitted and halves scooped out whole with a spoon
1/4 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced (use the sweetest you can find like walla walla or vidalia)
1 1/2 TB lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup parsley, stems removed, finely chopped
a pinch of coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 TB extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Slice each beet in half, the slice each halve in half. Slice each of these thinly so you have thin quarter moons. Alternatively, if you are serving this dish raw, shave beets thin on a mandoline or cut into matchsticks.
Prepare to steam the beets either in a steamer basket, or bamboo steamer. Place the beets in a single layer in the steamer, doing in batches if necessary. Steam for about 7 minutes, or until tender crisp and able to pierce somewhat easy with a fork. You dont want them to be mush! Set beets aside to cool in a bowl.
In a seperate bowl, add the thinly sliced onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, olive oil if using and finely chopped parsley. Toss to combine. Once beets are cool, toss them with the lemon/parsely/onion mixture. Lastly, slice each avocado halve in to half moon and toss gently with the salad, as to not break them up too much.
Serve with a garnish of sprinkled parsley, paprika, watercress sprigs, or lemon slices.
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