It’s high time we stopped keeping salad in the confines of a leafy base, and with this beet-based salad you’ll be a sure convert. Really less of a salad and more a dish you could serve as a vegetarian main for dinner or as a satisfying lunch, this recipe from Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking by Shahir Massoud starts with some nutrient-rich root vegetables: beets, both red and yellow.
Beets, in particular red beets, are “an incredible source of nitrate-containing nutrients,” cardiologist and New York Times bestselling author Alejandro Junger, M.D. previously told mindbodygreen. They’re also full of phytonutrients called anthocyanins and betalains. Altogether this makes adding beets to your table a good choice for your heart, brain, and digestive health.
The other key component in this dish is halloumi. “Halloumi is a versatile semi-hard white cheese that has been prominent in Middle Eastern and Greek cooking for generations, and with good reason,” writes Massoud in the introduction to the recipe, “it can be seared, grilled, or even broiled. It gives a dish that salty punch that is sometimes needed to elevate the other players in a salad.” The cheese is also a good source of protein (7 grams per ounce serving) and calcium (about 25% of the recommended daily value per ounce serving).
And in this case, the beets are good for more than just your health—they make this dish look like an absolute showstopper too. “As for the beets, always roast them (never boil!),” he writes, “and glaze them in a little bit of reduced orange juice for flavor and shine, together with a little residual red juice to drizzle on the plate for a beautiful finish.”