Monday, April 30, 2018

Golden Beet Salad with Cotija and Pepitas

An upcoming trip to Mallorca and Portugal has motivated us to tweak our eating habits a bit -- gotta look good when visiting those beautiful, sun-kissed beaches! This means we’re stocking the fridge with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and eating LOTS of salad. I like that there’s a lot going on with this salad, between subtly sweet golden beets, sharp onion, creamy avocado, salty cotija cheese, snappy pepitas and a citrus-y balsamic vinaigrette. It leaves you feeling happily full but not weighed down.

Golden Beet Salad with Cotija and Pepitas 
1½ pounds golden beets, roots and stems trimmed
½ cup unsalted pepitas
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from half an orange)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ medium red onion, sliced thin (I used a mandoline)
2 large avocados, halved and sliced
8 cups spring mix
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the beets in the oven and roast until tender when poked with a fork, 60-90 minutes (depending on how big your beets are). Remove beets from oven and set aside to cool.

Put pepitas on a separate baking sheet and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove pepitas from the oven and set aside to cool.

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, orange juice and balsamic vinegar.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove them from the aluminum foil. Peel the beets (wear gloves if you don’t want the beet juice to stain your hands). Cut the beets into a large dice.

Divide vegetables, cotija and pepitas evenly among four plates, drizzle with salad dressing, and serve.

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