Roasted Beet and Balsamic Cherry – a Salad not for the Faint of Heart!

This salad is intense, delicious, and what’s more – it’s purple! The deep and vibrant colors are often an indication of lots of antioxidants. It seems super-gourmet, but don’t let that put you off, it is pretty easy and doesn’t break the bank. Give it a try, and maybe use it to impress some friends who don’t usually like beets… and let us know the outcome in the comments section!

There are a few do-ahead steps (1 & 2) with this recipe, but they can be pretty quick and easy to work around to have ready for when the salad itself comes together.

Step 1: Roast beets20150722_192834

The other week, we got all of these great root veggies in our CSA share, including beets. It wasn’t very hot the evening we brought them home, so I went with one of my old stand-bys as soon as we got home and roasted them. A pretty quick and easy technique entailing a quick mist with olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then into the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. Roasted veggies will keep in the fridge for the better part of a week and can be heated up on the grill, as part of a quick skillet meal, just heated up on their own to be served alongside some other goodies, or… not heated up at all…

Step 2: Make Balsamic soaked cherries – 

These are level-9 gourmet fancy stuff, and as you would expect, there’s a secret to them… they are super-easy to make!

All you need to do is add some dried cherries (or blueberries, or cranberries) to about 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a jar and let it sit for at least 8-48 hours – and that’s it!

*These are one of my new favorite things! A relatively recent discovery for me, I’ve taken these and really let my imagination run wild of what to add them to and how to play with the remaining cherry-balsamic!

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Step 3: Make cherry balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 cup of cherry balsamic

3/4 cup your favorite oil like olive oil or try some camelina gold

garlic (to taste) – (I tried some of this smoked pickled garlic I picked up at my home-town farmer’s market while in Montana)

salt and pepper to taste *optional- thyme, honey, mustard, cayenne

water to desired consistency

Step 4: Comine Veggies

2 cups diced roasted beets

3 cups shredded purple cabbage – this one was from the WSU organic farm’s Pullman Market stand and was so delicious, fresh, and crisp

2-5 scallions/green onions (bonus points if they are purple)

*optional- red peppers and carrots would also be delicious in this salad

Step 5: Add toppings

Lots of sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds

Lots of fresh basil thinly sliced (chiffonade)

Mix this all together and enjoy chilled for a nutrient-packed picnic option, alone or with something on the grill when it is too hot for anything else!

Let us know how it goes by sharing your comments –

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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