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Recipe: Beet Salad by Bryant Terry (Vegan Soul Kitchen)

by: Jill Richardson

Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 15:24:12 PM PDT

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A few days ago I wrote up a review of Bryan Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen. I made one of the recipes (Citrus Collards with Raisin Redux) and received a request to share another recipe: Sweet Sweetback's Salad with Roasted Beet Vinaigrette. So here goes.
Jill Richardson :: Recipe: Beet Salad by Bryant Terry (Vegan Soul Kitchen)
Upon looking at the ingredient list, I realized that step 1 was actually making Terry's recipe for candied walnuts. I only had almonds in the house but that didn't bother me. So, I mixed up my almonds with modified amounts of extra virgin olive oil, sugar, and agave nectar (I didn't have the 4 c. of nuts that the recipe called for so I reduced the other ingredients too) and tossed 'em into my cast iron pan:


From there, I emptied the pan onto a plate (the recipe calls for using parchment paper but I didn't have any). And in my excitement to try my new treats, I burnt my tongue pretty badly. Oops.


FYI for the person who asked, my plates have dragonflies on them, not pooping butterflies. And the candied nuts tasted goooood.

From there I was able to actually start the recipe for the salad. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the recommended music. This recipe (and thus, the recommended music) is designed as a tribute to Melvin Van Peebles and I have no idea who the heck that is. I suppose I'm too white for my own good.


4 medium beets, scrubbed, tops trimmed, root tails left intact
Coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
12 teaspoon agave nectar
Freshly ground white pepper
3 large bunches arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped (6 to 7 cups)
1 1/2 cups candied walnuts

I'm making it with 3 large beets, no pepper (I hate pepper), and spinach instead of arugula (I hate arugula - it's peppery). So here goes.

Combine the beets, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over high heat. Boil uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Drain. Peel the beets by holding them under cold running water and rubbing their skins off with your fingers or a clean towel.



Once it came to a boil it was quite obvious that you should NOT make this recipe while wearing clothes that you don't want to get dirty. I changed from a cashmere sweater into a shirt I use for hiking while the water was boiling.

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Trim the tials off the bottom of the beets. Reserve two of them for the vinaigrette and compost the others. Cut the beets into 1/4-inch dice. In a medium bowl, toss the diced beets with 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the beets from the oven, transfer them back into the bowl just used, and toss with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Return to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.


(I skipped the parchment paper. No big deal.)

In a blender, combine the reserved roasted beet tails with the remaining red wine vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper to taste. Blend while slowly pouring in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. If needed, add more salt to taste.


I probably should have used a blender. Oh well. Because I'm making this salad for 1 (me) and it makes 4-6 servings, I decided to make 100% of the dressing and save it in a mason jar for later.


Place the arugula pieces in a large serving bowl, add the roasted beets on top, and add the candied walnuts on top of that. Immediately before serving, toss well with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat.


The result? Delicious. Highly recommended. Although I wouldn't mind a bit of extra Dijon mustard in the dressing - not too much, just a teeny tiny bit extra.

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Looks great (4.00 / 3)
Whoever that was that criticized your plates is obviously a silly man, brilliant, handsome, thoughtful and charming.. but often silly!

This part made me laugh.

I'm making it with 3 large beets, no pepper (I hate pepper), and spinach instead of arugula (I hate arugula - it's peppery)

Nice! (4.00 / 3)
Earth, Wind and Fire did the score to Melvin Van Peeble's film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, I used to have most of their stuff but I left behind many cd's when I moved a couple years ago.  One of my favorite groups...

Also, Sade's band minus Sade herself, Sweetback, is named after Melvin Van Peeble's film.  Their first album, "Sweetback" from 1996, is one of my favorite records.  I picked up their second from a few years ago right after it came out, but was kinda disappointed.

Oh, great recipe too - that looks awesome!

I'm definitely gonna check this book out, for the music too!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go listen to The Gap Band for a little bit.  Maybe some Spinners and some Isley Brothers, too...


gha! (4.00 / 3)
that looks scrumptious!
now i'm starving !!!

come firefly-dreaming with me....

this looks tasty.. (4.00 / 4)
I love beets. in fact in about an hour I am off to the food coop to buy beets for passover. Last year I waited til the day of Passover and there were none left. I use them on the seder plate as a replacement fr the shank bone and I roast them and serve them with the green salad.  

Beets are so pretty (4.00 / 4)
This recipe and the one for collards both sound great.

Do you have a recommendation for a substitution for agave nectar?

maple syrup, honey or sugar should be fine. n/t (4.00 / 2)

[ Parent ]
agreed (4.00 / 2)
all would work fine.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
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