If you’re anything like me, you love appetizer parties, but as you’re scoping the table, looking for meatballs, puff pastries and triple cream cheese, you look for that bite of healthy to clean the palate and balance the heavy meats and starches.
Crudites (carrot and celery sticks) never do it for me. Usually they are tasteless and I’m not about to dip into double-dipped ranch dressing anytime soon. However, if I were to see a raw beet salad, sprinkled with orange zest, in an individual serving, I would know that I found the right party. These are really delicious. My husband used to hate beets because he never had them prepared right. He loved this salad and he’s now a convert.
You could serve this as a side salad to a protein, but I still recommend putting it in it’s own dish, because red beet “red” goes everywhere and it looks so cute.
Feel free to add nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts are good choices). Feel free to add in some crumbled feta or goat cheese, but not too much. The beets are the star of the show here. The shallots bring extra flavor, and the citrus makes the beets sing. I mixed half grapeseed and half olive oil to keep the vinaigrette lighter and used a new pomegranate vinegar I got for Christmas. Any wine or balsamic vinegar is fine.
Another great idea for beets at a party is this beet crostini appetizer that I made a year ago.
So tell me, what are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Will you be looking for anything healthy that night or will you be more concerned with cocktails?
Appetizer Raw Beet Salad with Shallot, Honey, Orange Vinaigrette
- 2 cups shredded raw red beets
- 1 shallot peeled, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar can also use a champagne vinegar
- 1/2 orange or 1 tangerine
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Peel and grate red beets (I used food processor). Set aside.
- Zest the citrus. Set aside.
- In small food processor, place shallot, a squeeze of citrus, honey and vinegar. Mix well. Add in both oils. Continue to mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss beets the the vinaigrette. (You won't use it all, this should be enough for 4 cups of beets if you want to double recipe. Use remaining dressing for another salad).
- Toss with most of citrus zest, saving some for garnish.
- You can serve now or refrigerate and serve later.
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