Beetroot, Date, Hazelnut Salad

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The inspiration for this re-make recipe came from a trip I made to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There we had a generous beet salad that surprised us with its dates and hazelnuts. And what perfect timing because in these past few months I’ve seen organic red beets go on sale at my local farmer’s grocer. Usually it will be a bunch of three beets for 98 cents! So on my last trip there I purchased a total of four bunches. This salad has a savory taste with an array of textures. It’s well balanced with the crunch of hazelnuts, sweetness of dates and creaminess of ricotta.

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INGREDIENTS (2-4 servings)

4-5 medium beetroots
1/3 cup of hazelnuts
4 medjool dates
Package of ricotta
Package of greens (any salad greens will work)
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 types of balsamic vinegar:

  • 2 tablespoons “regular balsamic” for an acidic component
  • 1 tablespoon “aged balsamic” for a more sweeter component. This is the aged balsamic that I prefer and which I have mentioned in a separate post titled “Avocado Oil & Balsamic Vinegar”

PROCESS

  1. Prepare your beetroot. Wash them thoroughly and with skin on, cube them. Place cubed beets into an oven safe dish and cover with foil. Roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until tender enough to spike a fork through. *I discovered that roasting beets by itself maintains its sweet earthy taste, I prefer this.
  2. Chop & toast hazelnuts. I place my hazelnuts in a heavy duty ziploc and use the edge of heavy duty item to crush them. Toast them on a pan until  golden brown. When they are cool, its skin should easily brush off.
  3. Chop up greens in small pieces, dice dates.
  4. Peel & chop roasted beets. At the end of about 45 minutes, let beets cool down. The skin on the beets is easier to peel off when they are cooked. You can anticipate your fingers to turn fuchsia (I know others who choose to wear disposable gloves, but if you’re like me you don’t mind getting your hands dirty then skip out on those gloves!). Chop beets into smaller pieces.IMG_20160602_163114

In a bowl, combine your beets, dates, hazelnuts, greens, lemon juice and two balsamic vinegars. Stir gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for up to one hour. Serve with a dollop of ricotta on the side.

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Enjoy!

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