The Farmer’s Market Salad with roasted beets, toasted walnuts, lentils, avocado, and thyme on fresh spinach by Life Currents
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I had a DMV appointment the other day (boooo! But, yay new picture on my license!). After the DMV I decided to stop at the farmer’s market that’s just next door. A little treat for myself after all that bureaucracy.
It’s a small farmer’s market. But I like the way it’s set up. The vendors selling pre-made items are on one side and the ag (farmers) are on the other side. It makes it easy to look at the fresh produce.
I got some lovely fresh winter veggies, greens, and herbs.
And I bought a wonderful avocado honey from the Bee Ladies. mmmmmmm, honey. I decided to make a salad with the beets and spinach. I’m calling it the farmer’s market salad because, well, it came from the farmer’s market.
I also tried making a new salad dressing. Caramelized Onion – Buttermilk Dressing. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I can’t say that it was. It was too thick and too vinegary. I’m just not happy with it, and it’ll take a lot of work to perfect. So, I recommend sticking with my tried and true favorite for this salad: Sweet and Soy Dressing.
Should you peel beets?
To peel a beet or not to peel a beet. That is the question.
Well, I don’t peel. I roast them whole and eat them with the skin on. The skins turn soft after roasting.
Now, I have found that the smaller beets seem to have thinner skins and are better unpeeled. If your beets are larger you may need to peel them.
You can peel before roasting with a veggie peeler, but this makes a big mess with beet juice everywhere.
Or, you can roast them with the skins on, and after cooling their skins will slip right off. It’s your choice; this is just how I do it.
Beets are like candy! At least they are to me. They’re sweet and full of flavor and just plain awesome. And, they’re really good for you. They’re high in folate, fiber, the phytonutrients called betalains, and they’re low in calories. Read more about their health benefits at World’s Healthiest Foods.
How to roast beets
- 3-5 small beets
- drizzle of olive oil
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Clean beets of any dirt and loose roots by rubbing the raw beets with your fingers under cool tap water. (You may get some red stains on your hands; don’t worry, it’ll wash off.) If your beets are large, or of varying sizes you’ll want to half or quarter them. They should all be about the same size when they go in the oven.
- Place cleaned and prepped beets in a roasting pan, baking dish, or in a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Place the pan in the oven, and roast until the beets are fork tender, about 60 minutes if the beets are small or medium in size. If they’re large, the roasting process may take longer.
- Carefully take roasted beets out of the oven, and set aside to cool.
Greater than the sum of its parts
This is a great winter salad. The walnuts add crunch and nutrients with their nutty, slightly bitter flavor. Lentils, one of my favorite vegan proteins, are really tasty and high in nutritional value.
And, you know I’d put avocado with its buttery creaminess on just about anything! The flavors go so well with the sweet beets; all melding together to get bites of crunchy, creamy, bitter, sweet, and yummy!
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Makes 1 big salad, increase or decrease amounts to your liking or needs
Farmer’s Market Salad
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup cooked lentils*
- Roasted beets
- 1/4 avocado sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts**
- Fresh thyme
- Sweet and soy dressing or your favorite
- Place a couple of big handfuls of spinach in a big salad bowl. Sprinkle on shredded carrot. Top with lentils, roasted beets, avocado slices, toasted walnuts, fresh thyme, and dressing. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
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I simply love this salad! So colorful and healthy. Great pictures too!
This sounds scrumptious. We have a pile of beets languishing in the ground in our veggie garden. It is WAY too hot to eat them roasted out of the oven but I could bbq them in foil and make this undeniably delicious looking salad. I love walnuts (I have some in their shells that a friend gave us from his tree…I sprouted and grew some and have the rest waiting for a salad like this. They are magnificent!) and avocado is the answer to everything full stop! Cheers for sharing this gorgeous creation. It is the middle of summer here in Tasmania and I can’t think of anything more fitting for our evening meal after a hot day on the deck. Cheers! 🙂
Hubby emptied the email box and thought you were spam! my blog is theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com if you wanted to check it out :). You are welcome any time. Love the xeriscape planting. Steve and I are both horticulturalists who inherited a 4 acre property on the Tamar River in Northern Tasmania that we are turning over to xeriscape low maintenence gardens and an edible food forest. I am going to enjoy reading your gardening exploits as much as I am going to enjoy reading your wonderful (and utterly scrumptious) recipes :). Steve is omni so your non vegan recipes are perfect for us all 🙂
I love beets like you do. I roast them in cubes. The Hubby just asked me about using lentils in my Chopped. This is an awesome combo to get started with. Love your healthful recipes, Debi! Keep’em coming! 🙂