Friday, August 3, 2012

Sweet Beet Salad with Peaches, Carrots, and Honey Vinaigrette

Man I've been a bad blogger lately. Like, remember when July happened? And ZERO posts?! I'm so sorry. Really. Sorry to you, sorry to me, sorry to my students and employer who count on me to live and write about the locavore life.

In the last three months, I've spent five weeks out of town.

In the last three weeks, my husband and I sold a condo and bought and moved into a new single-family dwelling.

Amidst all this, my children suddenly developed v. clear agendas re: what they expect their days to look like, and evidently napping simultaneously and/or self-entertaining safely and calmly nearby while I cook and/or write are not on their to-do lists. I know. So selfish of them!

I've been teaching more often and - as is often the case in life - as I've devoted more time and energy to teaching, and gotten better and more methodical and increasingly enjoyed myself and my students, other projects have been less tended to, e.g. feeding my own family, working harder on the allergy navigating, and regularly posting on (Unpacking has also been on hold for like a week now. It's humbling how little stuff we really need, isn't it?)

What I've got for you today, however, is truly lovely in a simple, seasonal, nourishing way, and while the pictures don't do it quite the justice it deserves, they'll do the job for now. ("For now" being an indefinite period of time during which my camera remains hidden in an unopened box somewhere and I continue my thus-far-unsatisfactory search for a good, affordable photo-editing service in the wake of Picnik's (sad, sad) closure.)

Sweet Beet Salad with Peaches, Carrots and Fresh Herbs
Yield: 1 mega salad (I ate the whole thing) or 2 decent-sized salads

1 small head of lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces, or 3-4 large handfuls of baby spinach or other mixed greens
2 yellow beets, trimmed, peeled and shredded*
2 carrots, trimmed, washed and shredded*
Small handful each: cilantro, mint, basil (optional)
1 peach, pitted and diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or other seed or nut (I used raw sunflower seeds, as I just wanted some crunch, not saltiness or toastiness)
Honey Vinaigrette (recipe below)

*You can use a box grater to shred your veggies, but a little food processor is made for this sort of thing!

Place greens on plate(s). Top with shredded beets and carrots, fresh herbs, peach, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing to start with; add more if you like a more generously dressed salad.

Honey Vinaigrette - I used some fancy oil and vinegar but that's totally unnecessary
Yield: ~ 1 cup

1/3 cup olive oil (a citrus-infused olive oil here is great)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (a fruity or maple vinegar here is also great)
2 tablespoons honey (microwaved for 10 seconds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Shake everything in a jar; adjust acid, sweetness, salt, pepper as you wish. Lasts at room temp for up to a week.

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