Beet Salad with Spiced Yogurt and Watercress
Why This Recipe Works
Beets are very dense, so roasting whole ones can take up to 2 hours (not including the time it takes for the oven to preheat and for the beets to cool before peeling). Instead, we peeled and cut the beets into small chunks and microwaved them in a covered bowl with a small amount of water. Peeling them before cooking cut out the wait time for them to cool. Cutting them into pieces exposed much more surface area so they cooked faster, and cooking them in the microwave (as opposed to on the stovetop) caused water molecules inside the beets to boil rapidly and intensely, so they cooked through in less than 30 minutes. Beets work well in any side dish, particularly in a salad with greens and nuts. Instead of tossing the components together, we used the yogurt as an anchor for the other ingredients by thinning it with lime juice and water, spreading it on a platter, and topping it with lightly dressed beets and greens as well as toasted pistachios for crunch.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|2||pounds beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into ¾-inch pieces|
|1||teaspoon plus 2 pinches table salt, divided|
|1 ¼||cups plain Greek yogurt|
|¼||cup minced fresh cilantro, divided|
|3||tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided|
|2||teaspoons grated fresh ginger|
|1||teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice, divided, plus extra juice for seasoning (2 limes)|
|1||garlic cloves, minced|
|½||teaspoon ground cumin|
|½||teaspoon ground coriander|
|5||ounces (5 cups) watercress, torn into bite-size pieces|
|¼||cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped, divided|
From The Shop
Be sure to wear gloves when peeling and dicing the beets to prevent your hands from becoming stained. The moisture content of Greek yogurt varies, so add the water slowly in step 2. We like to make this salad with watercress, but baby arugula can be substituted, if desired. For the best presentation, use red beets here, not golden or Chioggia beets.
Total Time: 50 minutes
1. In largest bowl your microwave will accommodate, stir together beets, ⅓ cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover with plate and microwave until beets can be easily pierced with paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving. Drain beets in colander and let cool.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 2 tablespoons oil, ginger, lime zest and 1 tablespoon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Slowly stir in up to 3 tablespoons water until mixture has consistency of regular yogurt. Season with salt, pepper, and extra lime juice to taste. Spread yogurt mixture over serving platter.
3. In large bowl, combine watercress, 2 tablespoons pistachios, 2 teaspoons oil, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and pinch salt and toss to coat. Arrange watercress mixture on top of yogurt mixture, leaving 1-inch border of yogurt mixture. Add beets to now-empty bowl and toss with remaining 1 teaspoon oil, remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, and remaining pinch salt. Place beet mixture on top of watercress mixture. Sprinkle salad with remaining 2 tablespoons pistachios and remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro and serve.