Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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A Valentine’s Day Beet, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad On A Bed Of Arugula

Valentine’s Day has gotten the best of me this year. I can’t stop using my heart shaped cookie cutters–on everything. My latest target–my home grown roasted beets. 

This beet, citrus and avocado salad recipe was one of my favorites from The New York Times last summer. Right now I have an abundance of arugula in the garden so I added it to the original recipe and liked the little extra kick of flavor. 

For the dressing:
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS walnut oil
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • the leftover juice from the grapefruit
For the salad:
  • 3 large beets, roasted
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1 large Haas avocado, sliced
  • 2 TBS slivered fresh basil
  • 1 large handful arugula
Heat oven to 400.
Wash beets and dry thoroughly. Rub with olive oil. This will make peeling them easier.
Wrap tightly in foil, put on cookie sheet and bake until soft inside. I check with a thin knife. Large beets will take about an hour. Let cool.
Toast the cumin seeds on medium heat on stove top in a small frying pan. Let cool. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds. Mix lemon juice, ground cumin seeds, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Add the juice from the grapefruit that collects in the bowl when you cut it. Whisk in the walnut and canola oils.

Here’s an easy way to get perfect grapefruit segments. Cut off both ends of the grapefruit and set on flat surface. 

Use a sharp knife to cut pith completely off the fruit.

Working over a bowl (to catch the juice) use the same sharp knife to cut out each segment from between the membranes. Add the juice to the dressing.

When the beets are cool use kitchen gloves to peel off the skin. This will keep your hands from turning beet red! Slice the beets into 1/2 – 3/4 inch slices and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make the perfect Valentine’s shape. Drizzle a little of the dressing on the beets.

Now for the assembly. Place the arugula on a platter and toss with a little more of the dressing. Arrange the avocado and grapefruit, then add the star of the show–the heart shaped beets. Pour remaining dressing over the salad. Garnish with the basil.
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to enjoy this salad–surprise your loved ones any time of year. And this is a fun way to get your children to eat beets. You can even let them peel them (without kitchen gloves) and see how much fun they have watching their hands turn red.

Categories: Holidays, Valentine's Day

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