Pity the poor beet, so often a victim of overcooking, weird recipes, and the reputation that it’s good for you. At Houston’s La Mora (912 Lovett), chef-owner Lynette Hawkins Mandola has changed all that, except the part about it being good for you. In this imaginatively varied Italian salad, beets—firm and fresh—take center stage, their sweetness blending marvelously with the bitterness of the radicchio, the pungency of the goat cheese, and the salty essence of pancetta in a tart balsamic vinaigrette. Their deep burgundy hue balances a palette of gold, white, and green to create a colorful combination that is gastronomically—and nutritionally—correct.

Try this recipe for Fresh Beet, Radicchio, and Goat Cheese Salad from La Mora, Houston.