Beet salad, generally speaking, does not excite me. It needs textural and temperature contrast, (extreme) freshness and a brush of finesse to stand out from the crowd. Maybe the deli case versions and possibly the beets/chevre/mixed greens restaurant staples are in part responsible. Beets need attention and excitement to really shine.
I feel like maybe we have stopped thinking about beets and asking where they see themselves outside of where they have been typecast. Is it because they turn everything the colour of strawberry ice cream? Because it is a tricky colour for something that tastes so earthy to pull off. Maybe it’s because they are so intensely sweet….yet savory.
The thing is, they are totally worth a bit of a reinvention if it gets you re-interested in them, they are just so good for you. For starters, they are full of the intense pigment, betalain (also seen in pink chard stems and my favourite vacation flowers of the same colour, bougainvillea). They contain anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory powers, promote blood flow and blood purification, and help prevent anemia and constipation. All very good things if you have/had or are hoping to prevent cancer. For optimum health benefits, leave the skin on (you will hardly notice it).