First off, I did think about titling this dish: Roasted, Toasted and Goat-ed Beet Green Salad, because there’s roasted beets, toasted sunflower seeds, and goat cheese in it. But then I thought that was a little bit annoying, even for me. I also thought that there was a very solid chance that this salad was going to be awful when I made it. It’s pretty, sure, but beet greens? RAW beet greens? Not to mention that the spring onions I used were so freaking onion-y that it was all I could smell when I was putting this together…
I’m doing a good job selling this recipe to you, huh? Totally.
I really don’t want you to think that I’m some kind of healthy-eating mutant who loves eating raw kale and chia seeds on the regular and would die before allowing red meat into her body. Cuz I’m not. I mean, go ahead and think that if you want to — your choice. It sounds sort of nice to be thought of as some kind of crazy health ninja — completely inaccurate, but nice.
But no, I like junk food. I love a big greasy burger. And french fries? Don’t even get me started. I may or may not have a very trashy relationship with the McDonald’s drive-thru. (PS: Did you know you can ask for your fries “fresh” there? Yeah, it means they fry them up fresh for you and serve them to you so hot they burn your mouth off. WORTH IT.) But that’s not what this is about. This is about everyday life where I make the conscious choice to not eat an entire jar of peanut butter in one sitting (and believe me, that’s a legit choice right there, because it could very well be reality), and instead work vegetables into some semblance of deliciousness. And especially because I’m turning 30 this week (!) I did make a decision at the beginning of this year to get my healthy eating back on track so that I could ring in my 30’s wearing my skinny jeans.*
So, because of that and because our CSA has been giving us beets lately (sooo many beets), I decided I should try something new. I roasted the beets like usual, but then opted to use the leafy tops of the beets as the base for this salad. The beet tops are mild in flavor and a little more tender than raw kale. However, these are still a pretty hearty green, so feel free to add the dressing to your salad and let it hang out for awhile. If you end up having leftovers, this is even a salad that will hold up well in the fridge for a couple days.
Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side
For the salad:
- 1 bunch beets with fresh-looking greens attached (I used 2 large golden beets and 1 large striped beet, but red beets would also work just fine here)
- 4 spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (just place them in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes, tossing regularly until fragrant)
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese*
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1-2 tsp agave nectar (start with 1 tsp, then taste and add until desired sweetness is reached)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
- hefty pinch of salt and pepper
- Remove beet greens from beets and roast the beets. Once cooled, remove the skin and chop the beets.
- Remove beet leaves from the stem and tear or chop into pieces. Rinse leaves and spin dry, then add to salad bowl.
- Add chopped spring onions, beets, quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, and crumbled goat cheese.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (add a little water if the dressing is too thick), then add to salad and toss to combine.
*To make this salad vegan or dairy-free, feel free to sub in avocado for the goat cheese.
*Um, I should probably note that I did follow up this salad with half a dozen mini Cadbury Cream Eggs. Real life, y’know.