For the first time in a few months, I’ve finally had a few minutes to sit down and work on some posts. I’m looking at the backlog of recipes here, and I don’t know what’s more surprising: that I actually prepped some of the posts ahead of time (uncharacteristic of me), or that I didn’t impulsively post them as soon as I finished writing the majority of them (again, very uncharacteristic of me). While I sit here, sifting through recipes from March–Easter, to be specific–I’m actually starting to get a little hungry! I guess that’s a good sign.
This salad is the re-creation of something I ate at a restaurant. There’s a chain in LA called Mendocino Farms that mostly serves sandwiches and salads. I went there for the first time about a year ago to grab some dinner to bring to Cinespia (click the link if you don’t know what it is). My sandwich was really good, so I decided to go back when I was in LA this past March. While I was standing in line, trying to decide between three different sandwiches, one of the workers offered a sample of salad–any salad I wanted. Yum! I picked The Healthiest Side Salad Ever because it sounded interesting. Why not, right? That might have been the best decision of my day, because that salad was freaking awesome! The bright flavors of raw beets and carrots, mixed with some kind of citrus dressing, and–what’s that? Ginger?!–were all exploding in my mouth. It was spectacular. I practically pushed people aside to get to the register to order this salad. Plus, it didn’t hurt that it was the healthiest thing there, and that I could basically brag to everyone I knew that I was eating something really healthy that day. The salad is actually called “The Healthiest Side Salad Ever”, which sounds pretty legit, if you ask me.
When I got home, I really wanted that salad again. We now all know that I’m impulsive when it comes to food, so when I want something, I need to have it, like, now. Since we don’t have Mendocino Farms, I would have to make it myself. How hard could it be? It turns out, slightly harder than I thought. For example, if you were to guess how many beets you’d have to shred to get about two servings of shredded beets, what would you guess? I can tell you that the answer is not 5 beets, because that is enough to feed a small army (and also the amount I shredded). Aside from problems with spatial reasoning and math, though, it turned out pretty well. I decided to tweak the dressing a bit before I made it for Easter, and overall, the second time was a charm. Since we had leftovers for days, I think I ate the salad for every meal one week, and still wanted more. It’s that good!
I highly recommend this recipe when you need to make something to feed a crowd. It would be perfect for a summer potluck, with the crisp and refreshing ginger citrus dressing. Plus, if you’re going to peel a few beets and carrots, and get out the food processor, you might as well make a whole bunch of salad. It did take a bit longer to make than I had hoped, but I think it was worth the time and effort. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!
Peel some carrots, too. I chose rainbow carrots, because they’re fun.
Beet and Carrot Salad with Ginger Dressing
A light, fresh salad with a bold ginger dressing.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 small/medium beets peeled
- 6 carrots peeled
- 4 oranges navel or mineola, peeled and cut into segments
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1/2 cup cooked wild rice or black rice
- 1 handful kale optional
For the Dressing:
In a small bowl, mix the orange juice, ginger, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside in the refrigerator overnight.
For the Salad:
In a food processor, place the grating blade. Grate the beets and carrots in batches, being careful not to overfill the bowl of the food processor, and then set aside in a large bowl or food storage container.
Add the oranges, chickpeas, rice, and kale to the bowl with beets and carrots.
Add the dressing, and combine well.
Set aside for at least 1-2 hours to let the flavors combine. If waiting longer than 1 hour, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.