Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Roasted Beet, Avocado & Asian Pear Salad

This is YUMMMMMMy! It's easy, and very good for you too. It's even pretty. It's nicest prepared fresh, and tossing it just makes the redness of the dressing even more appealing. The thing I love about it is the contrasting/complimenting textures. The earthy smoothness of the beet against the crispness of the Asian pear. The slightly bitterness of the crunchy romaine against the creamy avocado and the buttery crunch of pine nuts. Tasty!

If you don't enjoy fruit in salads, you may very well still enjoy the Asian Pear. You'd be surprised how subtle it's sweetness is and its moist crispness can't be found in anything else.

Beets With a bit of Zip:

I love pickled beets, so to bring out the sweet note of beets & to add a zing, I thought why not bake them with vinegar:
  1. Peel & chop beets; (baby beets are nicest)
  2. Blanch them (drop into boiling water for 30 seconds then put into ice water)
  3. Wrap them in tinfoil--drenched in vinegar, oil, sea salt & fresh pepper (to taste) Even white vinegar is great, but balsamic is lovely. (The tinfoil keeps the skins tender for the salad. If you want caramelized beets with a slightly drier skin, opt for a pan & no tinfoil.) :0)
  4. Roast beets at 375 to 400 degrees until tender. (Depends on the size you chop them)
  5. Chop them smaller for salad or eat 'em as is. They keep well.

The rest of the salad:
  • Organic Romaine Hearts washed & torn (or any lettuce/salad greens but crunch is nice)
  • Avocado diced (I half it, remove the pit, & dice it in the rind then scoop with a spoon=no washing up.) I think lightly salting the avocado is key.
  • Asian Pear peeled and chopped
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • I like to make my own dressing, but in a pinch Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette is my favourite store bought dressing.
You can substitute roast carrots/sweet potatoes for beets.

Other delectable substitutions/additions could include:

  • Cheese (A natural with this) Goat cheese, creamy feta, old cheddar, blue cheese... (or your favourite)
  • Spanish Onion (was all out or it would have gone in finely sliced- for sure!)
  • Cilantro or Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (nice against the creaminess & sweetness)
  • Other Toasted Nuts: walnuts, pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts<--(one of my faves in salad)
  • Other Fruits: crisp pear...granny smith or gala apples... Or plums/strawberries/raspberries (with a little lemon/lime/grapefruit juice)
Happy cooking,

1 comment:

harpy said...

So excited to try these ideas! Fabulous!
Thanks for tweeting it!