Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2021
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Roasted beet salad with wild rice, goat cheese and chickpeas

This salad is wickedly healthy and the colours are vibrant, which saves fall and winter tables from too many shades of brown! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the beets and, of course, you can roast them ahead of time (tuck them into the oven while you’re baking something else — multitasking at its finest). The flavours in this salad really marry well and leftovers keep easily for a few days in the refrigerator.

1½ lb. (680 g) beets, about 3 medium
½ c. (125 ml) wild rice
1 to 2 chard or kale leaves, tough rib removed and remainder chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 c. (250 ml) cooked chickpeas or half a 19 oz. (540 ml) can, rinsed and drained
¼ c. (60 ml) pecan pieces or halves, toasted
5 oz. (150 g) soft goat cheese

For the dressing
⅓ c. (90 ml) olive oil
2 tbsp. (30 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Scrub the beets and wrap them individually in tin foil. Place them on a rimmed sheet and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 to 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets (or leave them on if they’re thin) and cut the roasted beets into bite-sized chunks.

Bring the rice to a boil in a medium saucepan with 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest, covered on the stove, for 10 minutes. At this point some, but not all of the grains will have split open. If you prefer all the grains open, let the rice rest for another 5 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar and taste for seasoning; it will be a little sweeter than most vinaigrettes. In a medium bowl, toss the beets, chard, onions, chickpeas, cooled rice and dressing (discard the garlic clove). Transfer to a shallow dish or platter and chill until ready to serve. Scatter with pecans and bits of goat cheese right before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

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