Golden Beet Salad with Balsamic + Cashew Ricotta
Beets are definitely one of the most underrated root vegetables. Most people think they don't (or KNOW they don't) like them, and most restaurants won't put a dish on the menu that nobody will order. It's a sad cycle, and beets usually get the short end of the stick. But unlike their earthier, more bitter, urine-dying red beet cousin, the golden beet is a sweet veggie that tastes great whether you pickle, bake, brine, roast or juice it. It has a mellow flavor (and color) that pairs really well with tangy, acidic flavors like balsamic vinegar and richer textures like crunchy walnuts and creamy cashew ricotta - which is why we paired them together! Plus, yellow beets are packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like fiber, iron, potassium and folic acid. If you haven't tried golden beets, or have just been waiting for the right recipe to test them out in, make this salad. It comes together super easily and tastes great, plus it somehow totally looks and sounds like a dish you'd only find at a fancy restaurant. Let's eat!
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium golden beets
4 cups arugula
balsamic vinegar, as needed for serving
Preheat the oven to 350º. Spread the chopped walnut onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring once. When finished, set aside to cool.
Soak the raw cashews in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the nuts and pour them into a food processor. Pour in the water and salt and pulse until a fluffy, chunky texture is achieved (similar to ricotta cheese). Set aside.
Trim the ends of the beets, then place them into a medium-sized pot of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook over medium heat until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain the water and let cool slightly before using your fingers to slide the skins off. Toss the skins in the compost or trash and thinly slice the cooked beets.
Spread the arugula between two large plates and top with the toasted walnuts, a couple tablespoons of the cashew ricotta, sliced golden beets and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately! (Or, just prep it and take it for lunch to work all week!)
Leftovers last up to a week in the fridge.