This menu has so many assertive flavors that I wanted a salad that was equally assertive and also fresh and delicious.
This salad is really all about the dressing. My tasters were asking if they could just eat it right out of the bowl on crackers.
The flavors are a bit exotic and seductive. Maybe you don’t think of a salad dressing in this way, but it’s got some mystery as you try to identify the ingredients. It flatters the carrots and beets and surprisingly calls you back for just another taste.
The secret ingredient of pomegranate molasses adds a tanginess and an extra bit of acidity that together with the chopped toasted walnuts makes this almost decadent.
And it’s a salad! You’re eating your vegetables, you’re getting your greens, you’re even being a vegetarian… At least until you bite into the pulled lamb on pita, which is also part of this menu.
SPICY WALNUT, BEET, CARROT SALAD
EVENT: Game Night
SERVES: 8-10 People
For the salad:
4-6 beets, not peeled
Bunch small carrots, scrubbed
1 7-oz bag pre-washed baby organic arugula
For the dressing:
1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped *
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place beets on a large sheet of foil and carrots on a separate sheet of foil. Drizzle each sheet with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Seal each packet. Place both packets in oven on middle rack.
Remove carrots after 30 minutes, beats after 40-45. Beets should be tender but not falling apart.
Let beets cool slightly. Run under cold water and rub the skin from the beets. When cool, cut into small wedges.
Slice carrots lengthwise.
While vegetables are cooling, prepare the dressing.
Make the dressing:
- Combine in a mixing bowl the garlic, chili flakes, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. When thoroughly combined, add the chopped walnuts and combine well.
The dressing can be made ahead to this point and stand for several hours or even made the day before.
Add chopped cilantro just before serving.
- Toss ½ half the dressing with carrots and the other ½ half with the beets.
Mound the arugula on a serving plate and place the carrots and beets on top, alternating between the carrots and beets.
Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the arugula.
* A NOTE: I purchase the walnuts at Costco.