I admit I was skeptical. I love beets…but always roasted and cooked through. The trend these days is to enjoy even the most untraditional veggies raw, from brussels sprouts to squash to fennel to bok choy to the latest I have been hearing about, beets. While on our recent trip to the big island of Hawaii we visited our favorite farmer’s market in Waimea and found some simply gorgeous beets…golden, red, candy cane…all beautiful, sweet and juicy. Along with this I picked up a beautiful Daikon radish, some baby red radishes, baby fennel and baby lettuces and spinach that actually tasted like spinach.
When you taste just picked fruits and vegetables they just taste better…taste alone should drive anyone who lives on processed foods to switch their diet as sweet, spicy, savory, satisfying vegetables will turn anyone on to a healthier diet. This salad is a good start. Though using a traditional knife will work, using a mandolin is easiest, as cutting the veggies super thin is best…just be careful and use the guide.
Fresh Market Raw Salad
3 beets, any type you like, greens and any rough parts removed, scrubbed well
1 Daikon radish, scrubbed
4 red or candy cane radishes, greens removed and reserved and roots discarded and scrubbed
1 baby fennel, core removed and washed
1 English cucumber, washed
1 yellow or zucchini squash, washed
Assorted baby lettuce and spinach, washed thoroughly
Fresh herbs – dill, cilantro, basil, chives
Salt and pepper
4 ounces feta cheese
For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup quality olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs de provence
Pinch salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a container with a lid. Seal and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
Very carefully thinly slice all vegetables except the herbs and lettuces, as thin as you can make them, and toss into a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon of each can toss to combine. Tear the lettuce, spinach and herbs into bite size pieces and toss into the bowl on top of the veggies.
Drizzle 1/2 the dressing over the salad and toss with tongs to combine. Add more if the salad is too dry. Crumble the feta on top and serve.