I usually roll my eyes when I come across salad recipes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love salad and eat one every day, but a recipe for a salad? Don’t you just throw some veggies on top of some greens with maybe a little dressing and call it good? What do you need a recipe for?
As it turns out, a little saladspiration is exactly what I needed to break free from the same old sad salads.
So before a recent dinner party, I opened one of my favorite cookbooks, Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking. Inside was a gorgeous photo of a beet and orange salad that looked perfect for an early fall evening.
This is not that gorgeous photo.
This is a oh-I-just-made-dinner-for-eight-people-I-should-probably-hurry-up-and-take-at-least-one-picture picture.
Roasted beets paired with sliced oranges and toasted walnuts drizzled with a tahini dressing was the perfect accompaniment for the rich and creamy golden broccoli soup I served. Along with Thanksgiving-style sweet potato dinner rolls browned in a cast iron skillet, the humble soup/salad/bread trifecta was elevated to company status.
But as simple as this salad might sound, there’s quite a bit of effort involved in washing, peeling, chopping and roasting the beets let alone toasting the walnuts just right so they don’t burn. If you want to make this salad for a weekday lunch, you’re probably just not.
With race day coming up, I’m trying to get beets in any way I can and I can’t always spend an hour in the kitchen just to make a salad!
So I decided to make the weekday lunch version that seriously took less than 5 minutes to put together and tastes just as good.
Admittedly, I do have a love for the rich sweetness of roasted beets that cannot be rushed, but this is close enough for your average Tuesday.
I also found that I prefer honey instead of maple syrup in the lemon tahini dressing. (Honey is not strictly vegan so if you are, you can sub agave or maple syrup.) The combo of honey and tahini is something that I learned from some of the Greek athletes I coach at RunnersConnect who eat it on their toast in the morning. It’s perfect whisked with lemon juice for a light and tangy complement to the beets, oranges, and walnuts.
Using raw walnuts, easy-to-peel mandarins, and economical canned sliced beets, a wow-worthy salad can be ready in minutes!
5 minPrep Time
5 minTotal Time
- 1-2 cups spinach or mixed greens
- 6-7 slices of canned or jarred beets (containing water and salt only)
- 1 peeled and sectioned mandarin orange
- optional other vegetables of choice, cold cooked grains and/or legumes
- 2 tablespoons (15g) raw walnuts
- For the salad, place greens in a bowl, arrange the rest of the salad ingredients on top in a way that looks pretty!
- For the dressing, mix dressing ingredients in a small jar and stir until it's the consistency you like.
- Drizzle over salad and enjoy!
Inspired by Minimalist Baker