Posts Tagged ‘beet’

Time for a simple lunch salad, just for me. I wanted to see if beets would work with one of my favorite salad combinations — creamy pears, crunchy candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Salad with Golden Beet, Pear, Cranberries, and Candied Pecans

Ingredients, ready for action.

(Serves one for lunch.)
3-4 cups of mache and mixed greens, including radicchio and frisee.
1/2 a pear, quartered, cored, and sliced.
1/4 cup of candied pecans.
1/4 cup of dried, sweetened cranberries.
1/4 cup of grated golden beets.
Freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Salad with Golden Beet, Pear, Cranberries, and Candied Pecans

Ready for the vinaigrette!

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T balsamic vinegar.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

First I prepared my salad dressing in a small jar, giving the garlic time to mellow and infuse the vinaigrette. I created a nice bed of greens, chopped my pear, and added everything to the salad bowl. I gave it a good dusting of pepper before drizzling the vinaigrette over it and tossing it.

Salad with Golden Beet, Pear, Cranberries, and Candied Pecans

A dessert of a salad, ready to eat.

The Verdict:
The beets weren’t that noticeable, honestly, and the salad was a little sweet for me. I love these flavors as a side salad, but I don’t recommend it as a lunch salad unless you’ve got a pretty serious sweet tooth. (Bear in mind that my husband thinks I’ve got a genetic mutation that disables the normal human appreciation for sugary goodness, so if this sounds amazing to you, go for it. There’s a good chance I’m the weirdo, not you.) Regardless, I would have loved this salad if it shared a plate with a really good pork chop and some roasted potatoes.

Make it a Meal:
Done, but not recommended. Serve it on the side with something delectably savory instead.

Pack it to Go:
Apples go in with the dressing to prevent browning. If it’s sitting for a long time, the beets will also brown, so bear that in mind and plan accordingly. As always, add your dressing at the last minute, only as much as you need, fork toss, and enjoy.


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I was in the midst of preparing a very rich meal. I had two plump chickens roasting in the oven, a pot of rice simmering in garlic chicken broth on the stove, and a bowl of sliced leeks ready to add to the saucepan of chanterelles I was stirring on the front burner. I wanted a salad to round out this meal, and I wanted it to be assertive and bright. Something explosive, with strong, clean citrus juiciness to complement the chicken and mushrooms.

I grabbed one of each kind of citrus fruit I had in the house, and a large fistful of mint. I added lots of radishes for crunch, and some scallions for flavor, and I got to work.

Ingredients for Triple Citrus Side Salad

Time to slice and chop.

Greens for Triple Citrus Side Salad

A bed of greens, ready for the triple citrus zest.

(Serves three or four as a side salad.)
4 cups of mache and mixed greens, including frisee and radicchio.
6 radishes, sliced.
3 scallions, sliced.
1/2 cup of grated golden beet.
1 navel orange, peel sliced off, quartered and sliced.
1 lime, peel sliced off, quartered and sliced.
1 large fistful of mint, chopped.
Zest of one orange.
Zest of one lemon.
Zest of one lime.

(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T lemon juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1 small clove of garlic, crushed and minced.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

Triple Citrus Side Salad, Orange and Lime

The orange peel is sliced off, and the lime is in step one of peel removal.

Triple Citrus Side Salad, Lime

The lime peel is now completely sliced off.

I started with a gorgeous bed of mache, radicchio, and frisee. Then I zested the citrus over the greens. Once the zest was safely in the salad, I juiced a lemon and prepared my citronette, giving the garlic time to mellow.

I sliced up my radishes and scallions, and turned to the lime and the orange.

I love slicing the peel off of citrus fruits and exposing the bright, jeweled fruit. I did this for the lime and the navel orange, and added them to the salad just before it was time to serve it, since mache wilts easily.

Triple Citrus Side Salad

Ready to serve!

The Verdict:
This salad was exactly what I wanted. My verdict? Amazing. It was quite sour, which I loved. My husband, on the other hand, was less impressed. He wound up leaving a little pile of pretty lime bits on his plate, and it was far too sour for the kids. Make this if you’re a fan of sour deliciousness. If not, move on.
Triple Citrus Side Salad, Plated

Time to eat!

Make it a Meal:
Garbanzo beans, chicken, or any kind of seafood would work very well with this salad.

Pack it to Go:
Citronette in a jar with all the cut fruit. The rest of the salad ingredients in a large glass or stainless steel container with a tupperware-style lid. Shake up the dressing and pour as much as you need over the salad before eating it.

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Lunch salad prep time: early morning, fridge full of goodies, ideas swirling in my head… I improvise more than I plan. This time, I didn’t even have a clear theme, unless you call balsamic vinaigrette a theme. I grabbed what looked good, put it all together, and declared it a salad.

Golden Beet, Fennel, and Kidney Beans

The ingredients are ready for chopping.

Golden Beet, Fennel and Kidney Beans: Grated Beet

Golden beet, grated and ready to be sprinkled into the salad.

(Serves one as a lunch salad.)
1 romaine heart, chopped.
3 mushrooms, sliced.
1 scallion, sliced.
2 sprigs of basil, leaves removed and chopped, stalk discarded.
1 sprig of marjoram, leaves stripped, stalk discarded.
1/2 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced.
1/2 cup grated golden beet.
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate the rest for several days.)
1 T balsamic vinegar.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

I was making two salads, as usual, so I doubled all of the ingredients listed above. I started by rinsing the kidney beans and leaving them in a sieve to drain. Then I chopped the lettuce and made a nice bed for the vegetables. I rinsed and chopped and sliced until both bowls were vibrantly full of flavorful bite sized bits. I grated the golden beet, a trick I learned from a good friend, and generously sprinkled a handful over each salad. Then I added the beans, and dusted the salads with freshly ground black pepper. Finally, I whipped up the balsamic vinaigrette, slipped a jar of it into my husband’s salad, and popped the lid on the container. My salad and my jar of dressing went into the fridge for later.

Golden Beet, Fennel and Kidney Beats: Ready to eat.

Ready to eat!

The Verdict:
These textures really worked well together. I loved the crunchy fennel with the creamy beans, the little mushrooms sponging up the vinaigrette, and the delicious nibbles of beet clinging to the crispy romaine. The flavors were mostly perfect — basil and balsamic vinegar are made for each other. I think the marjoram was a bit heavy handed, so I recommend using about half of what I used. It might even be wiser to use about a fourth, and to include it directly in the dressing, so that it’s subtle and infused throughout instead of big punches of flavor. This is definitely worth playing with again.

Golden Beet, Fennel, and Kidney Beans: Packed to go.

Packed to go!

Make it a meal:

Pack it to Go:
Done. Just keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat, then add only as much as you need, fork toss (or put the lid back on and give it a few quick shakes), and enjoy.

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