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Golden Beet, Avocado & Shallot Salad

I picked up these golden beets at the La Jolla farmer’s market last week. I love beets of various colors. My favorite are probably the chioggia beets, which have concentric pink and white circles inside. If you can find those, you can definitely substitute them in. Red beets have a stronger flavor and a staining red color, so I would hesitate before using those, but if you’re in a pinch, use ’em.

I added blue castelllo cheese from Trader Joe’s to this salad, but you can eliminate it if you want to make this yummy salad vegan. It is wonderful served slightly warm, when the beets are still steaming slightly.

One last note: microwaving veggies is actually one of the best ways to retain nutrients, so I cooked the beets this way (place ’em in a microwave-safe bowl, cover them with a little water and microwave them for 6-9 minutes or until tender), but if the idea of using a microwave leaves you aghast, you can either roast them in the oven (cover the beets with foil and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender) or boil them.

Golden Beet, Avocado & Shallot Salad

3-4 Golden or Chioggia Beets, cooked, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch cubes, approx)

1 Avocado, pitted and diced

1/2 Shallot, finely diced

1 Tbsp of Blue Castello Cheese, crumbled

4 Tbsp Olive Oil, extra virgin

3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp Whole-grain mustard

Sea Salt

*******

1. Mix the beets, avocado, shallots and cheese in a nice salad bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and mustard to create a nice vinaigrette. Add more oil or vinegar to taste.

3. Add the dressing to the salad and sprinkle with sea salt. I like using the Black Cyprus salt from Salt Traders for a dramatic effect!

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Posted by on March 27, 2009 in Salads

 

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Spring Crunchy Grain Salad


So, as promised, here is the recipe that I entered in the Trader Joe’s recipe contest this spring. The inspiration was a roast chicken stuffed with olives, oranges and onions covered with an herby rub. I needed a side dish and was looking for something warm and comforting, a dish that resembled a stuffing. But, it being spring and all, it needed a fresh, crunchy, light update. Hence, this recipe was born. While we served it with roast chicken, you can easily serve it for lunch on its own.

The recipe uses Trader Joe’s ingredients, but you can easily make it with regular or Israel Couscous. Israeli Couscous has larger pearls and makes for a nice, squishy salad.

Spring Crunchy Grain Salad

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (you can substitute Isreali Couscous or even regular couscous)
2 oz (roughly 1/4 package) of Trader Joe’s Light Feta Cheese
2 small Fuji apples
4 celery stalks

******
1. Bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil. Stir in the Harvest Grains Blend. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with a cover for about 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
2. Chop the Fuji apples into small dice and the celery stalks into thin slices and add to the Harvest Grains Blend.
3. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad.
4. Voila! You’re ready to go!

p.s. The Trader Joe’s recipe contest allows for only four ingredients, but to further spice up this salad, I would add some toasted pine nuts, drizzle a good glug of a fine olive oil and sprinkle generously with fresh-ground pepper.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2008 in Grains, Salads

 

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