I promised a salad recipe this week because even though I like to think I could live on cookies, cakes, breads and even apple strudel…the truth is I do have cravings for what I like to call ‘real food’ like soups and salads. I like eggs and cheese too. One of my favorite easy to make comfort foods for dinner is an omelet with fresh herbs and a light sprinkling of cheese. Oh.. and maybe a side of toast made from homemade bread slathered with butter and homemade preserves. I do have a fun cookie recipe for you-to be revealed later this week-made using Halloween candy from my giant Costco stash (I refuse to run out of Halloween candy this time!). After the rain storm that blew through here this morning with it’s lingering grey clouds, my golden beet salad looks like sunshine on a plate. The earthy flavor of the sliced beets are brightened by the key lime champagne vinaigrette and my salad, which would be good served for lunch or as a starter course for dinner, has been made heartier by the addition of quinoa and pistachio nuts.It’s time for lunch and I think I have a few slices of golden beets in the fridge. I’ll have to check on my arugula patch in the garden- it might have been washed away in the rain storm that came through late last night and early this morning. I know because I had to drive in the storm this morning to bring my husband to the Dentist’s office for dental surgery, he’s doing fine and resting right now. I think he’s having applesauce or mashed potatoes when he wakes up, poor guy!
- 4 large golden beets
- 4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, I used rainbow quinoa
- 4 mini cucumbers
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts
- For the Dressing
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons Key lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Key lime zest
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Trim the beets and place in steamer basket. Steam beets for about 25 minutes, until tender when pierced by the tip of a knife.
- Remove beets from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle.
- Peel beets, slice thinly and set aside.
- Slice the mini cucumbers, which don't need to be peeled, into thin rounds.
- Trim and slice the fennel bulb as thinly as possible.
- Break some of the pistachio nuts in half.
- Make the Dressing
- Place the thinly sliced shallot into a small bowl, stir in the Key lime juice, zest and champagne vinegar, this can be made ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop.
- Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper before dressing the salads.
- Make 4-6 Individual Salads
- On each plate layer on the fennel, cucumbers, quinoa, arugula, beets and pistachio nuts, divide the vinaigrette and drizzle over salads before serving.