Spring salad with shredded root veg, chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

15 March 2013

Spring salad with shredded root veg, chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds

Spring salad with greens, shredded root veg, chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds

Guys, it's spring. That means SALAD.

I want all the vegetables on the planet. Okay! What if we take some classic spring greens, combine them with some raw shredded veg, and add a few beans, some bits of cheese, and a handful of chopped nuts? Cover a plate and you have a full meal: tender, crispy, crunchy, and chewy all at once. Hooray!

Since we're hovering right at the boundary between winter and spring, I decided to take advantage of the juiciest winter root veg: carrots and beets. Combined with chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds, they were just about perfect.

shredding a golden beet

Not very many people seem to realize raw beets are even edible, let alone sweet, earthy, and delicious, but they absolutely are. They're a great option for a raw veg when the new spring peas and asparagus are stubbornly hovering just out of reach. I like to use golden beets, so as not to get my entire kitchen covered with magenta juice, but an ordinary beet will work just as well. And since the golden beet was bright yellow, I decided to use some beautiful purple carrot for extra visual punch.

A box grater is all you really need for finely shredded veg, but if you happen to have a spiralizer or mandoline, now is an excellent time to break them out.

raw shredded golden beet and rainbow carrot

We had some really excellent applewood smoked almonds from our farmer's market on this particular occasion. They're pricy, but they're worth it, especially when you use them as a sparing garnish. (I actually crushed some up and used them to coat a piece of flounder before searing a bit ago--and why I didn't take any pictures of that, I don't know. It was AMAZING.) Of course, then there's the issue of just eating them all out of hand, but they're so delicious that I think we can live with that.

This salad can take all kinds of variation. Don't have almonds? Try some toasted cashews or sunflower seeds. Don't have goat cheese? Crumble a chunk of feta or blue cheese, or use mozzarella bocconcini. Want to get rid of a handful of radishes or a kohlrabi bulb? Shred them up and go forth. It's all good.

Spring salad with greens, shredded root veg, chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds

Spring salad with shredded root veg, chickpeas, goat cheese, and almonds

salad greens
cooked chickpeas
goat cheese (or your preferred cheese)
smoked almonds (or the nut or seed of your choice)
vinaigrette (we use Thomas Keller's house vinaigrette)

Wash and dry your greens; arrange them on a plate. Cover your greens with a layer of shredded raw carrots and beets. Add several scattered handfuls of cooked chickpeas and chunks of cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped smoked almonds. Drizzle a vinaigrette over the top of your salad, add a bit of cracked pepper if desired, and eat.

Hooray for salad!

What are you eating on your early spring salads?


Michelle said...

That's one gorgeous salad. Raw beets are one of my favorite salad toppings ever. I wish more places would carry them on their salad menu [or I could stop being so lazy and grate my own...].

foodfeud said...

I love that you added chopped nuts. A huge part of a delicious salad is the wonderful differences in texture. And I too am so, so happy about all the new fresh produce spring brings.

Kristina @ spabettie said...

I LOVE THIS. yes, when the sun comes out and temps go up, I CRAVE salads and this one looks amazing!

just today I made a salad for lunch and grated a carrot into it... Mmm.

happy weekend!

Caz said...

I'm so jealous you have spring when all we have is rain and grey days! This salad looks bright and cheerful though and I love grated raw beetroot. What a great way to transition between the seasons. :)

adriennefriend said...

I love raw beets! It's still a bit too chilly for me to really get into salads. I know that's stupid, since the early spring greens and the most tender and sweet, but I really need to be sweatin' before I get excited about the salads. :-)

Joanne said...

I'm definitely in the mood to eat large bowls of veggies lately also! This is the perfect transition salad for this in-the-middle weather we've been having!

Eileen said...

I'm so happy to see so many people into raw beets! Of course, I love beets in any form, but that might be just me. :) If it were colder, I'd definitely be roasting them for a warm salad...maybe with potatoes and a seedy mustard vinaigrette?

Nancy said...

I'm so happy that spring is finally arrived so I can start eating salads again. I love all of the ingredients in your recipe -- it sounds so good. Thanks for sharing!

Monet said...

Warmer weather does mean salads. And this one looks like a winner. Thank you for sharing. As always, a bright and delicious spot in my day. I hope you have a wonderful and warm Spring week!

Jes said...

What a **gorgeous** salad! It's making me want to run out the door and get some beets to grate this instant. Seriously springy.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Oh wow this salad looks so refreshing and it's very spring inspired dish! I've never tried raw beets yet but sounds like I must try as everyone seems to love it very much! Such a beautiful salad!