This salad was inspired by the discovery of some organic cooked, vacuum-sealed beets I found at Costco, which were on my mind because my best friend is always making amazing dinners with beets, and when I asked her how she had the will to wash and cook and peel beets so much, she told me she bought them already peeled and cooked, like the genius she is.
As discussed in a previous post, I generally make salads based on what I already have in the house rather than going out specifically to shop for them. They’re a clean-out-the-fridge kind of dish, like soup. Of course, it helps when you’ve just gone to the grocery store. It’s all in the timing. But still, there are those little odds and ends you want to use up to make room for all the food you just spent too much money on.
For instance, I had one little banana pepper from the remains of our summer garden. Usually Ryan, my youngest, eats these before I can get to them, but I guess he’d overdone it because he didn’t want this one, and it was on the brink of getting kind of wilted. Banana peppers aren’t readily available in some grocery stores or at certain types of years, so you can absolutely omit this or sub it for a baby sweet pepper, but it is a really nice flavor addition if you can find it.
I used spring mix because that’s what we had, but I think this would be really nice with arugula. I also added hazelnuts because I’ve been trying to use them up ever since Mike bought a ton of them, but honestly I don’t really care for hazelnuts and would have preferred walnuts.
So as usual, make whatever substitutions you want. The base of beets, orange, and feta is really what you don’t want to alter. In fact, just those ingredients with some fresh sliced fennel would be another great version of this salad.
I dressed this with my classic apple cider vinaigrette, but a citrus vinaigrette would be amazing on it as well.
Still, the hazelnuts and the radicchio in the spring mix looked really nice in this salad, so all’s well that ends well (and uses up things that are taking up space in your pantry and fridge).
Not Your Mama’s Beet Salad
- 2 cups arugula and radicchio (or other lettuce of choice)
- 1 medium beet cooked, peeled, and julienned
- 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- 1 mandarin orange peeled and segmented
- 8 slices cucumber
- 1 banana pepper sliced (optional)
- 2-3 Tbsp toasted walnuts or other nut
- Vinaigrette of choice
- Layer all ingredients in a bowl and top with vinaigrette.
[…] broccoli rabe and spiralized zucchini sautéed in garlic and olive oil, but even better would be the Not Your Mama’s Beet Salad I made the night before. As usual most of my salads are born of things I already have, which I know […]