French cuisine is well-known for delicately dressed salads made with garden-fresh greens, a rainbow of other vegetables, artisan cheese, and the occasional sprinkle of nuts. With their ruby red color, roasted beets offer a sweet, earthy flavor to salads; add the nutty-sweet flavor roasted parsnips as complement. Beets offer more than color and flavor – they're also packed with health-promoting phytonutrients.
2 medium parsnips, stem and root ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 to 4 medium (about 12 ounces) beetroots, stem and root ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
3 cups chopped watercress
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
¼ cup crumbled chèvre cheese (goat cheese)
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted*
Freshly-ground black pepper, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Toss the parsnips in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread on one end of a 13-by-9-inch rimmed baking pan or in a smaller rimmed baking pan.
- Toss the beetroots in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread on the other end of rimmed baking pan (with the parsnips), or in a smaller rimmed baking pan. If using one pan, keep the parsnips and beets separate to retain the parsnips' creamy white color.
- Season the parsnips and beets with salt and black pepper.
- Cover the pan(s) with foil. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the parsnips and beets are tender. Remove foil; set aside to cool.
- To make the dressing, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sugar in a small bowl; whisk to blend the ingredients. Mix in the mint.
- Put the watercress, beetroots, cheese and walnuts in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss gently. Season with freshly-ground pepper, if desired.
- *Crisp, vibrant beet greens, which have not been trimmed from beetroots, can be prepared as a side dish, similar to spinach or Swiss chard. Remove leaves from the stems; cut the stems in 1- to 2-inch pieces. Sauté them in olive oil with garlic and lemon juice. Beet greens are a rich source of vitamins A and C.
Calories: 250; Calories from fat: 160; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 4g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 270mg; Total carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 10g; Protein: 6g