I have a friend who doesn’t like beets. Try as I might, I just can’t imagine why. I love beets. They’re so sweet and flavorful, and chock full of healthy attributes. On the Did You Know list: beets naturally help to lower blood pressure; beets contain dietary nitrates that improve strength and stamina; beets help fight chronic inflammation; beets are a good source of fiber; beets can improve brain health; being high in fiber and low in calories, beets are the perfect diet food…

There’s more, but the reason I’m a beet fan is that they make wonderful additions to things like salads and soups. And what more delicious snack than pickled beets, straight from the jar? I’m such an admirer of beets, in fact, that I composed this little poem, a take-off on that old favorite, “Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit.”

Beets, beets, the jovial food

The more you eat, the less you brood

The less you brood, the happier you feel

So, let’s have beets at every meal!

Oh well, no one ever said I was in the running for America’s Poet Laureate. Anyway, back to this week’s recipe: the other day I really wanted a quickie salad. But not the usual plain old lettuce-cucumber-tomato variety. I’d been craving pickled beets and suddenly had an inspiration—a pickled beet salad with artichoke hearts, avocado, grape tomatoes, and croutons, with just some plain old ranch dressing. It took, like, five minutes to make and was it ever good. The next day I added some hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon and walnuts and it became a veritable perfect meal.