3 large beets (or 6 small beets)
3 medium granny smith apples, peeled cored and chopped small
3/4 cup chopped raw pecans
3 1/2 packed cups of baby arugula, lightly chopped
1/2 medium orange, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp. olive oil plus more for baking beets
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. raw honey, melted
Sea salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and dry beets, and trim off the leaves and root tip (leaving the skin on). Drizzle a little olive oil over each beet and sprinkle each with a dash of sea salt. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. If using smaller beets bake for about 50 minutes, if using larger beets bake for about 90 minutes or until a fork can pierce the beet easily. Remove the beets from the oven and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes. Unwrap each beet and drain the excess beet juice into a small bowl and set aside. Chop the beets into small bite sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Fill the bottom of a medium sized saucepan with water and place a steamer basket in it. Place over medium-high heat and bring the water to a bowl. Add the chopped apples, cover and steam for about 4-5 minutes or until apples are soft and tender. Drain and add the steamed apples to the bowl with the beets. Place your chopped pecans in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat and cook until lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Set the pecans aside.
To make the dressing, take the reserved beet juice and add the 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, orange juice and orange zest. Stir and add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add additional orange juice or vinegar if you like. Pour the dressing over the beet mixture and toss to coat. Add the arugula and toasted pecans and toss again. Serve immediately or place in fridge until ready to serve.
NOTE: For those that eat dairy, a bit of blue cheese crumbles on the top of the salad is delicious. Frozen beets would work for this recipe as well. To freeze simply chop your roasted beets, let them cool to room temperature and freeze them in a resealable plastic bag or a freezer safe container. When you want to use them pull them out and set them on the counter to defrost; once defrosted they are ready to use.