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.
Potato Leek Gratin
If you've hung around here for awhile you probably know that I'm a big potato eater, having grown up in the great state of Maine. I like 'em cooked every which way and eat them way more than I probably should. But screw balance, because potatoes are the star of this dish and they are so, soooo worth it here. We started by slicing up our potatoes really thin, adding leeks cooked in garlic and rosemary, and covering the whole thing in a super cheezy sauce and homemade parmesan. It gets nice and bubbly when it cooks up and packs a ton of flavor. Its an easy dish to whip up and would make a great main or side dish at any meal. I used to love when my Mom would make gratin with dinner, so I'm happy I finally recreated the dish - but with a lot more flavor and a LOT less fat and salt than normal. It's cheezy, oozy-gooey, full of rich, savory flavor and something you're gonna wanna shovel into your mouth as soon as you pull it out of the oven - even Grandma will be impressed. Let's eat!
Looking for more with potatoes? Try our super popular Potato Leek Soup, Celeriac Mashed Potatoes, or Classic Backyard Potato Salad!
2 lbs. gold potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 - 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup homemade parmesan cheeze, to garnish the top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thinly slice potatoes and layer them into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Heat the coconut oil in a large cast iron pan over medium heat. When melted, sauté the leeks, garlic, and fresh rosemary over medium heat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. [Take care NOT to burn the garlic + leeks- they don't taste good.] Remove the pan from heat, toss the rosemary stems, and pour the garlic leek mixture over the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish.
In the same pan you used to cook the leeks and garlic, whisk together the almond + coconut milks, nutritional yeast, corn starch, fresh chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens - about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture over the leek and potatoes in the casserole dish and use a spoon to gently smooth it over the top, letting it fill the crevices between the veggies.
Sprinkle parmesan cheeze over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling. Serve + enjoy!
Leftovers save well in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week.
Winter Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Persimmon, Pomegranate,