Real Life Golden Beet Salad

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Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts

Sometimes I think I get into trouble with you my gentle readers because I don’t do as many “wow” recipes as I used to. I realize seared scallops can knock it out of the park and many people are cruising blogs looking for quadruple-layer chocolate cakes to satisfy their food fantasies. So yes, I know in my heart that today’s Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts might be a disappointment to those of you looking for gravity-defying-stacks of fantastical food. However neither my wallet nor waistline can afford these treats on a daily basis. So as much as I love bringing the wow-factor every now and again, I can honestly say that I also enjoy presenting real food from real life.

Golden Beet Salad

For me, real food and real life include eating seasonally. Prime season for ripe California Avocados starts right now. Which is why I have chosen this Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts. It’s fresh and seasonal. It has just a few ingredients – each one chosen to augment the other. While it’s true that this is “just a salad” I like to think that it’s in no way boring. Because you don’t need to switch into zombie mode every time you make a green salad. A salad does not have to limit itself to lettuce and tomatoes.

Haricot VertsGolden Beets

Take this salad: beets, avocado, watercress, haricot verts, some herbs, and spices – nary a legit lettuce leaf to be located. But it’s a winning combination nonetheless. It has diverse textures and bold flavors. The creamy California Hass Avocados I chose add a luxurious counterpoint to the crunch and snap of barely cooked green beans. A sweet and sour dressing along with cilantro and mint make the flavors bright, but the peppery bite of watercress keeps it from getting too cloying.

This nourishing creation could probably be dubbed a “superfood” salad, a term I try not to use much, mainly because I think all food is “super”. Still, there’s so much good stuff in here that it makes you feel conscientious just looking at these pics. Served as it is it’s a terrific first course. However it can also be a substantial meal – just scatter some lean protein and/or chunks of creamy goat cheese over the top.

Which doesn’t mean you won’t find a perfect sliver of seared goose liver resting on toasted brioche and served alongside a dollop of pineapple and pink peppercorn chutney right here on these very pages sometime very soon. My interests and tastes are diverse. I find joy in the simplicity of good food as well as the drama of true gastronomy. So keep coming back. I always want to keep you guessing. GREG

California Avocados did not compensate me for this post, but as a Californian, I love to feature California produce whenever I can.

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts

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Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Haricot Verts

Ingredients

  • 1 pound golden beets (about 2 to 3 inches in diameter)
  • 1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar (or more as needed)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus a little extra to finish)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Cholula)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper (as needed)
  • 8 ounce blanched haricot verts (or regular green beans)
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 bunch fresh watercress (stems and leaves)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (leaves only)

Directions

Peel the beets and slice them very thinly into rounds that are about 2 to 3 mm thick. Use a mandolin for best presentation.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beet slices to the pot and simmer them for about 3 minutes; they should be slightly cooked but still crunchy. Drain the beet slices and put them in a large bowl.

Add the red onion slices, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, hot sauce, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl with the beets; toss to combine. Set aside for at least 10-15 minutes and up to 1 hour, then taste. Adjust seasoning as needed with more vinegar, hot sauce and/or more sugar. It should taste both sharp and sweet, but not too spicy.

When you’re ready to serve, spread about half the beet mixture on a large platter. Top with blanched haricot verts, avocado, watercress, cilantro, and mint. Arrange the rest of the beets artistically around the platter, sprinkling any liquid left in the bowl over the salad. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve.