Eating the rainbow is easy with this gorgeous, phytonutrient-rich salad that feeds the eye, as well as the palate.
Variety is the spice of life. Eating a diet that includes a rainbow mix of fruits and vegetables is not only more interesting, it is the best way to optimize your health. This is because plant foods are rich in phytonutrients, the plant compounds that give vegetables and fruits their color and protect them from harm caused by their environment. Phytonutrients have similar effects on people – they act as antioxidants in the body, helping to eliminate free radicals that can damage cells.
It’s important to eat all the colors of the rainbow because the different colors in different plants contain unique phytonutrients. Eating them all provides a wide range of benefits; making the variety important. Ideally, one would eat one a serving a day from each plant color group. There are big health benefits from combining produce of different colors in meals. This creates a synergistic effect that allows the phyto-compounds and other nutrients to work together, enhancing their antioxidant benefits.
This recipe pairs two nutritional superstars in one delicious dish. Carrots provide the highest source of vitamin A in commonly consumed vegetables. Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin K, biotin, and vitamin C; plus they are low in calories and high in fiber. Beetroot has long been considered a medicinal vegetable; primarily used to help detoxify the liver. The pigment that gives beets their bright, purple color is betacyanin; a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets are also high in fiber, and have a beneficial effect on high cholesterol levels and help to improve gut health.
I love the simplicity of this delicious salad. It is not only easy to make, it is gorgeous. The addition of fresh parsley and dill, combined with a lemony vinaigrette, make this one of the healthiest salads you can eat.
Carrot & Beet Salad with Fresh Herbs Recipe
- 1 lb organic carrots
- 1 lb organic beetroot
- 1 orange - zested and peeled. Segments cut free and set aside.
- 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
- 3 Tbs. Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
- 1/4 cup walnut oil or good quality olive
- kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup dill fronds plus extra for garnish
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, thinly slice the carrots, and then the beets. For the beets you will need to cut them in 1/8s to make them easy to use for peeler. You can use a julienne peeler to make a variation on the salad.
Whisk together orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl toss the beets with 1/3 of the juice and oil mixture. In a separate bowl toss the carrots with 1/3 of the juice and oil mixture, the orange sections and the herbs.
To assemble, place beets on the bottom of plate and top with the carrot-orange mixture. Drizzle extra juice and oil mixture over the top and garnish with dill fronds.