Lovin' Freshies Beet Salad
I order their beet salad almost every time I go to our favorite Steamboat restaurant - Freshies. Firm red or orange chunks of earthy beets nestled in a bed of arugula, walnuts and feta cheese, all tossed with a maple dressing - what could be better?
My Own (lemon) Twist
I don't think that I could say how many attempts I have made to duplicate this beet salad. Not that I am ashamed of being repetitive, but eventually this recipe took on a life of it's own.
- I experimented with spinach and baby greens, but arugula won out with it's pepper taste and firm texture. I look for baby arugula for its milder flavor.
- I always have feta cheese in my frig, but several versions of this salad recommend goat cheese. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- I experimented with several dressings - maple dressing (like Freshies uses) seemed too sweet and my various versions of balsamic vinaigrette missed the mark. I think that you'll find the final lemon dressing just right.
Optional, but Worth it
I try hard to create recipe using ingredients that you would most likely have in your kitchen. For this recipe, I'd like to encourage you to step out and try something new. The lemon dressing is good, but turns awesome with the addition of umami (a savory flavor bomb) in the form of anchovy paste. I buy it pre-made in a tube which can be found in the Italian section of most grocery stores.
I've also added slivers of Preserved Lemon which I always have in my refrigerator. They are easy to ferment at home and add a lemony, salty punch to the salad.
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 2 cooked beets peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts toasted
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup slivered preserved lemon (optional)
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- juice from one lemon about ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
In an 8-ounce jelly jar combine the dressing ingredients. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and shake until the ingredients are emulsified.
To assemble the salad, toss the dressing with the arugula until evenly coated. Top the greens with beets, then sprinkle with walnuts, feta cheese and preserved lemon (if you’re lucky enough to have some!)
Need a quick way to roast nuts? Place a single layer of nuts in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring each time. Depending on the type of nut it will take 1-5 minutes to microwave “roast” nuts.