Beet Salad with Mint & Vanilla

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Beautiful bright and happy beets!

OK – in the past (notice the verb tense!) I was not a huge fan of these root vegetables.  I really wanted to love them because they are so gorgeous and packed with life enhancing magic.  The extent of my beet affection was stuffing them into a juicer.  However, I was determined to create a combination that changed all that.  So here you go.  If you like beets, this recipe will make you jump up and do a happy dance – lots of fresh mint, vanilla, walnuts, and salty feta cheese come together for a beet bliss!  I enjoyed this salad for lunch and topped it upon serving with even more vinegar, feta, and nuts.  Next time around, I will serve these nestled in among a buffet of middle eastern bites – hummus, olives, spicy nuts, grape leaves, baba ganoush, and marinated vegetables.

Happy cooking to you!

Beet Salad with Mint & Vanilla
 
Ingredients
  • 6-8 beets, baked, peeled, chilled and cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ - 1 cup of fresh mint - torn into larger pieces
  • 3-4 ounces feta cheese
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup walnut oil (corn or canola are fine too)
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (balsamic is another option)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. This is best prepared in advance and is really easy to make.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems and trim the beets. Do not wash yet. Place in a casserole dish with ¼ cup water. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Let cool before removing skins - they will come off easily. Cut into bite size pieces.
  3. While the beets bake, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, vanilla, salt & pepper.
  4. Combine the beets, dressing, walnuts, mint, and feta in a bowl. Toss gently. Upon serving, pass more vinegar, feta, and nuts.

 

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