I made this salad for myself and my hubby for lunch a few days ago. It seemed like a perfect antidote to the dwindling sunlight and colder temps as we enter the final days of the countdown to the heart of darkness (a.k.a. the winter equinox.)
I was feeling a little draggy after another night of not enough sleep so I decided to take a short hiatus from my usual lunchtime fare -- something bread-based, followed by cookies -- in favor of a fresher and lighter meal.
I love grated beet in salads - it's sweet and juicy and crunchy which is a pretty awesome combo. And the color is so bright and beautiful, too, especially paired with the orange of the shredded carrot and tangerine slices - hence the "sunburst" name.
I also love citrus fruit in salad - juicy, tart and sweet. And the toasted nuts are deliciously crunchy and rich. I really like the baby spinach as a base for this salad - very tender and flavorful. Although I admit that I am mostly focused on the flavor, it's an added bonus that all these things really good for you, too. Now that our older son goes to school a few mornings a week, winter tends to be one cold and stomach bug after the next so the more vitamin C and other immune system boosters we can get, the better.
I added some grain to give the salad a bit more substance. I used leftover couscous from a Moroccan themed potluck we hosted recently but you could use farro or quinoa or whatever you have on hand. I probably would have included some goat cheese but didn't have any in the house. Toss in a handful of currants, raisins or dried cherries, splash with a healthy dose of your favorite vinaigrette and you're in business. Eat well and stay well!
Sunburst Spinach Salad With Grated Beets, Toasted Pecans & Couscous
Amounts vary based on how much you want to make
* Baby spinach, washed and dried
* Beet, peeled and grated
* Carrot, peeled and grated
* Pecans or walnuts, toasted
* Dried currants, raisins, cherries or cranberries
* Tangerine or orange, peeled and sliced
* Vinaigrette (I used a simple balsamic one)
* Couscous, farro, or quinoa, cooked and cooled
Lay down a thick bed of baby spinach, top with couscous or other grain, layer on the grated carrot and beet, and top with the toasted nuts and sliced citrus. Drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette and dig in.
You might also like:
- Farro Salad With Roasted Delicata Squash, Spinach & Chèvre
- Frisee, Apple & Celeriac Salad With Citrus-Shallot Dressing & Goat Cheese
- Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad With Toasted Almonds & Pecorino Cheese
- Wilted Russian Kale Salad With Balsamic Vinegar & Orange Zest
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