Insider’s Viewpoint: Summer Salad Stars
When putting together summer salads, there are always the go-to toppers. Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and carrots are just a few old standbys. This summer, think outside the box with three versatile veggies that surprisingly have a lot in common – celery, radishes and beets.
While you may think of these veggies for hearty winter menus, it’s interesting to note that all three are in season throughout the summer. Celery, radishes and beets can each be enjoyed raw or cooked – and one other trait they share is that their greens can be eaten as well, making yet another tasty salad addition.
The Nutritious Summer Trio That’s Hard to Beat
Celery. Two medium celery stalks provide a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as 2 grams of fiber. Their high water content is also great for keeping you hydrated in the hot summer sun.
Radishes. By enjoying a serving of 3-4 radishes, you benefit from approximately 15% the Daily Value of vitamin C.
Beets. A single beet provides an excellent source of folate and 2 grams of fiber.
Besides adding these vegetables to dark green salads, try them in grain-based salads for your next picnic or summer cookout. Here is a refreshing recipe that is sure to take you out of any summer salad rut!
Roasted Beet & Barley Salad
- 1 ¼ pounds baby beets (10 to 15, depending on size)
- 6 cups water
- ¾ cup pearled barley, rinsed
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- ¼ cup slivered fresh basil
- ½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Scrub beets under running water. Wrap damp beets in heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping it closed to make a packet. Place in oven and roast until tender, about one hour.
- When cool enough to handle, use fingers to gently slip off beet skins. Cut beets in quarters lengthwise.
- Meanwhile, combine water, barley and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to maintain a slight simmer and cook, uncovered, until barley is tender but still chewy, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Drain barley well and spread on a baking sheet to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add beets, celery, radishes and scallions. Toss to coat.
- Let vegetables marinate in dressing for about 15 minutes. Stir in barley.
- Just before serving, stir in basil and top with nuts.
Recipe from EatingWell
Andrea Luttrell, RDN, LDN