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The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is the more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
Jitterbug Perfume — Tom Robbins

Do you ever read something you wish you had written? Something so well-crafted, so simple, yet sublime? That’s how I feel about the above paragraph. I should have written that. I’m the one obsessed with beets, born with an affinity to Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. No one understands beets like I do.

Of course, good writing and a passion for beets are two distinctly different things. Even if I have to let Tom Robbins say it for me, I’m content knowing I’ve chosen the most torrid of all vegetables as my favorite. Trust me, carrots, celery, even burdock root are no match for the wild and impassioned beet.

I love beets.

I belong to Grant Farms CSA program and yesterday was my first delivery of 26 weeks worth of organic vegetables, fruits and farm fresh eggs (I have a year-round egg share). Those of you who have been following this blog know I border on ardently evangelical when it comes to my local farmer friends and their freshly-harvested, seasonal produce.

I opened my CSA box last night and inside I found a bunch of deadly serious beets. Need I say more?

Deadly Serious Beet & Spinach Salad
what you need
1 pound beets
3 – 4 cups spinach leaves
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pecans, chopped
crumbled goat cheese (I use local Haystack Mountain goat cheese)

what you do
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim beets and save the leaves; please don’t throw them away, they are wonderful (see link below). Scrub the beets and place in a glass baking dish.* Pour about an inch or so of water into the dish and cover with foil. Roast for about 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the beets and the “heat” of your oven. Carefully (don’t spill the HOT beet water) remove beets from oven, set aside and let cool. Save the beet water for making smoothies. Seriously, let it cool and store it in a glass jar in the fridge – it makes for wonderfully healthy smoothie juice.

In the meantime, using a small bowl, whisk together diced garlic, shallots, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, agave and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. I usually put the mixture in a glass jar and shake like crazy. Shake, shake, shake your booty.

Once cooled, cut beets into 1/4 inch circular slices. (I never peel beets, I simply trim the stems and leaves and wash and scrub the beet root with a veggie scrubber before I roast or use them.)

Arrange spinach on plates, top with beets, chopped pecans and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing.

* I have a Le Creuset enamel-covered, cast iron French oven with lid that I use for roasting beets. It’s wonderful, but the above method works as well.

Go forth and sizzle with seriousness,

P.S. You might also like –
Beet Greens & Brown Rice (good information about beets and the greens and how to use them)
Grant Farms Egg Information (information and nutrition profile of pastured eggs)

I’ll be posting weekly nutrition information and recipes depending on what Andy and the gang put in my big red Grant Farms CSA box each week. Stay tuned and leave a comment if you want ideas, help or information about farm-fresh food. Sign-up for emailed updates so you don’t miss anything.

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20 Responses to “deadly serious beet & spinach salad”

  1. Cid says:


    I’m already a fan… more so since your advice about beet leaves, so this season I’ve eaten/juiced plenty. Last week in my deli, there appeared beetroot and horseradish chutney but haven’t had time to try it yet.


  2. Melissa says:


    I have a couple odd-ball beet recipes waiting in the wings, one of which I have to recreate, pay attention, and write down what I do. I don’t follow rules (recipes) very well and have a tendency to make things up as I go, which doesn’t bode well when I want to pass along the information to others.

    Mmmm, beetroot and horseradish chutney? That sounds wonderful. I’m anxious to hear what you think. How was it made?

  3. greedydave says:


    Crikey, I’ve been a regular reader for nearly a year and I hadn’t noticed your email subscription. I’m ever so observant! I didn’t even realise you had a thing for beets. πŸ™‚
    Delicious sounding salad. Just thinking about the beet-stained goats cheese is leaving me slavering, and I’m also eager to hear about Cid’s chutney.

    Great post once again, Melissa.


  4. Melissa says:



    You Brits have some interesting expressions. Where did crikey come from?

    You’re much more observant than you give yourself credit for. I just had the email option added to the blog recently. Can’t remember when exactly, but not long ago (maybe a couple of weeks ago).

    Oh, yes, I do have a thing for beets (a serious thing) and have since I was a little girl. My mom says I thought they were dessert.

    I’m interested in Cid’s chutney too. It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Horseradishes and beets?

    Thanks, GD. I always appreciate your zippy input.


  5. Too funny … oh, wait, you said “deadly serious.” I’m sorry. Seriously. πŸ˜‰ I think you need to cook beets for me so I’ll have a full appreciation. I must say they are stunning in the photo. I want to make this recipe just to have the beet juice for all the green smoothies I’ve been making lately.

    Yippee for the email subscription … I like that!


  6. Hey Melissa!

    So glad you came across my blog and that I, in turn, have been lucky enough to find yours! It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to explore some more.


  7. Angie says:

    Thanks Melissa for visiting my blog! I’m glad I found yours as well! And I LOVE beets – I haven’t blogged about them much but they are my favorite vegetable and I eat them as often as I can get my husband to go along with it (although he is coming around:) Looking forward to reading more of your recipes! Enjoy:)


  8. Melissa says:

    Shirley (AKA GFE),

    I have to get you on the beet bandwagon. They are so good! Not to mention mysterious.


  9. Melissa says:


    Thanks! It’s nice to have you here. I appreciate the comment.


    Yeah! Another beet lover. I’m on an experimental jag with beets recently and will be posting a wide variety of recipes soon.

    Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

  10. CoconutGal says:

    Yummmm, Melissa this sounds great!
    I am so excited to see more of your CSA box recipes. Veggie recipes are my FAV!! (Although I am currently eating a dessert, I came up with a chocolate sauce recipe!! Woo!)
    Did you get an ice cream machine yet? I don’t have one and that’s why all my ice cream recipes are blender friendly πŸ™‚ I would like to get one though so let me know how it goes.
    Anyway- I’m printing this recipe. Yumlicious.

  11. Melissa –

    As a fellow lover of beets, I love the quote and your salad recipe! I think all of your recipes are similar to mine – we just seem to cook with the same ingredients. That is why I always love to see what you are doing! I bet a bit of thinly sliced fresh basil would be a great addition here.

    Thanks! Ali πŸ™‚

  12. Kelly says:

    Ahhh… beets πŸ™‚ You’re speaking to my heart! lol I’ve made a similar version of this a dozen times, and I love it more every time…

    Your photos are so pretty -That’s what I call: eye candy!

    Cheers, Kelly

  13. lo says:

    Nobody says it quite like Tom Robbins, I say! Truly — what vegetable is there more worthy of passion than the lovely beet?

    Roasting beets is my favorite way to prepare them — and this salad is just genius. Love the pecans and goat right alongside these very serious veg πŸ™‚

  14. Melissa says:


    I’m behind in my comment responses, so if you look ahead, you’ll see that I did get an ice cream maker. Yeah! Can’t wait to try different versions.


  15. Melissa says:


    Yes, we are on the same page with our ingredients and basil is one of my favorites. Definitely a good idea with this salad. Thanks! Basil and goat cheese love each other!

  16. Melissa says:


    Thanks so much for your kind words! Eye candy — I like that.


  17. Melissa says:


    You’re so right. Tom Robbin’s is definitely one of a kind!

  18. Mary says:

    This is my first year for a CSA and I am enjoying your blog. I started eating mostly raw food last summer, and am learning to eat lots of veggies that I never knew existed – or how to prep, like beets! Thanks.

  19. Melissa says:


    Welcome — and thanks so much for commenting! You are going to be hooked on your CSA (where are you?). I am totally addicted to my Grant Farms deliveries. In fact, when they end for the season, I go into mourning!


  20. […] are some more gluten free recipes using beets: -Beet & Spinach Salad from Gluten Free for Good -Sauteed Beets from Deliciously Organic -Orange Glazed Beets CrockPot […]

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