This salad is bright, crunchy and perfectly complimented by the slabs of avocado on top. Since the holidays I’ve been completely drooling over my new cookbook, Plenty More. Written by Yotam Ottolenghi, the photos and ingredient lists scream special occasion, but the flavor combinations and prep tips can inspire even simple meals. Ottolenghi is a well known chef based in London who specializes in vegetable based cooking, (though not a vegetarian himself). I already have a little list of ideas to try from this book like Brussels Sprouts Risotto (topped with fried brussels sprout wedges), Pomegranate Tomato Salad, Quinoa Cakes, and well just about anything there’s a picture of! I can’t wait to get a copy of his earlier book, Plenty.
The original recipe calls for a long list of ingredients that while surely delicious might not show up in our CSA. I took the tangy beets, added a pinch of smoked paprika for smokiness and topped it with creamy avocados. I also really like the technique of just blanching the beets so they still have some bite to them. Red onion looks beautiful, but spring onions and yellow onions will also work depending on the season. If cilantro comes in your share box, sprinkle some on top. I also discovered a feature on our food processor I had never noticed before! The slicing blade is adjustable, so you can slice paper thin beets, or thicker slices for pickles, etc. A food processor is at the top of my list for CSA cooking, make pestos, dips, and easily slice and shred for salads and slaws.
Simmer the beets for 2 – 3 minutes depending on the thickness of your beets. If you slice them by hand, they might be a bit thicker and that’s fine. Let everything marinate in the dressing for a bit before topping with avocados.
Beet Avocado Salad serves 4 – 6
adapted from Plenty More
4 medium size beets (or more if you have smaller beets like I did)
1 red onion, quartered and sliced
lemon for serving (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 – 3 tsp hot sauce like Tabasco or Cholula Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Prepare the beets. Peel and slice the beets into paper thin slices. If you have one use a food processor or mandolin. If not, a sharp knife will work. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the beets for 2 -3 minutes depending on the thickness of the beets, then rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a towel. Combine the onions and beets in a bowl.
Make the dressing. Whisk together the ingredients, then pour over the onions and beets. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the beets on a large platter or individual plates. Top with thinly sliced avocado, a sprinkle of salt, and a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately. The onions and beets will keep well in the refrigerator if you want to make them in advance, and top with avocado just before serving.
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