Tell me what comes to your mind when you read the blog title? Let me guess. Perhaps, just like me, you think it sounds super duper healthy? Am I right or am I right? I think I am right. Health on a plate, literally. Beets, garlic, plain yogurt, walnuts. Each ingredient in this salad I’ll write about speaks of nutrition and health benefits.
Beets? Vitamin C, fiber, anticancer properties, boost stamina, fight inflammation, and so on. Garlic? Packed with vitamins, wards off viruses, improves cholesterol levels, among other good things.
Walnuts? Powerful antioxidants, good for you. And yogurt, good old plain yogurt is an excellent source of protein and is loaded with calcium and vitamin D. So, what’s this salad all about? Health! Plus, it is beyond delicious. Every time I make it for our guests, I receive rave reviews.
Oh, by the way, if you are into celebrating Valentine’s day, perhaps this salad could be on your menu that day? A bright, passionate color representing a loving heart. Don’t you think? For that occasion, you could, if you wish, omit the garlic in the salad, but I am very much inclined to say just keep it. (I may be biased. Remember my garlic story?) So I say, with this short “poem” I just made up: Garlic all the way, even on Valentine’s day:)
Garlicky Beet Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts
Serves 4 to 6
Note: For a smooth dip/spread, grate the cooked beets on the fine side of a box grater. Also, you can play with the amount of yogurt, walnuts, and garlic in the recipe. Add more or less yogurt if you wish, or increase or decrease walnuts and garlic to taste.
Variation: You can also add a few tablespoons of sour cream and mayonnaise to your salad—this will make the dressing tastier—or just sour cream (with yogurt) and not mayonnaise.
3 medium-size beets (preferably organic, better taste and color, plus healthier)
About 2 cups or as needed, plain yogurt (make it at home, it’s easy!)
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
Small handful of walnut halves, chopped (depending on how you like your walnuts in a salad, you can chop them either finely or coarsely but never too finely; there should be some crunch in the salad)
Ground black pepper
Remove the greens from the beets, if any (do not discard of them—save for other uses, such as add to soups or stir-fry with onions). Cut off the stalk ends taking care not to cut through the beet flesh, otherwise the juices will seep during the cooking. Wash the beets.
Place the beets in a medium saucepan, large enough to fit all the beets. Fill the pan with water, to cover the beets. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook, until the beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing the tip of a knife or a fork into the beet flesh. If it penetrates easily, the beets are ready. Drain and allow to cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and grade on the coarse side of a box grater. Place in a medium bowl. Add the plain yogurt (plus sour cream/mayo if making a variation), garlic, and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a spoon to combine. Before serving, chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, to allow the flavors to blend.