This year, Easter falls in the middle of the spring and even with the Chicago stubborn wintry weather there may be a chance for us to see at least some leaves unfurling and flowers blooming to capture the feeling of this season.
But even with this windy and still chilly weather, we can invite spring to our homes before it decides to stay with us for longer. We can put tulips or jonquils into vases or place a few pots with hyacinths on the tables and shelves to brighten up the rooms and create an inviting atmosphere for the Easter holiday.
Easter fare in many traditions revolves around eggs – the symbol of rebirth and renewal. Before, eggs were present in almost all of my Easter dishes, including soup, main course and dessert. This year, however, I want to put on my Easter table dishes that are both traditional and festive, look vibrant and attractive, but at the same time are healthy, light and nutritious. In my house, we rarely eat appetizers, going straight to main courses but this Easter, I am going to make an exception and prepare a great appetizer with two varieties of beets, an orange and a watermelon radish. I just couldn’t resist the tempting appearance of this dish and all the health benefits it offers. Beets are a good source of potassium and iron, fiber, folate and vitamin C and the are rich in antioxidants.
- 1 medium red beet
- 1 medium yellow beet
- 1/2 watermelon radish, peeled
- 1 avocado
- 1 medium or large navel orange
- 1/4 cup walnuts, shelled and halved
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 lemon juice (optional)
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place the beets with skins into an oven proof dish. Cover tightly with one or two sheets of foil. Bake for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven when soft but not overcooked. Set aside to cool.
When cool, peel the beets (the skins will easily slip off) and slice into thin rounds using a sharp knife or a mandoline. Peel the orange and slice into about 1/4 inch rounds. Slice the radish into thin rounds. Arrange the beets, sliced orange and radish on a round plate alternating and slightly overlapping the slices.
Peel and chop the avocado into medium size cubes. Place the avocado in the middle of the plate.
Prepare the dressing whisking the orange and lemon juice with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt. Drizzle over sliced beets. Sprinkle with halved walnuts.