Spring is in the air! Okay . . . not technically, but it feels that way looking at the bright bouquet of daffodils on my counter. I love springtime and the gifts it brings: sunnier days, seasonal farmer’s market produce, daylight savings time, and the most impressive of them all—mini Cadbury eggs & jelly beans; I cannot wait!
When the weather warms, it’s nice to eat lighter. Since I just went to my farmer’s market this weekend, I decided to cool-it-down in the kitchen, and make something fresh and bright! I know what you might be thinking, but we won’t be using Easter candy in the making of this meal (we’ll save that for later in the month). However, we will be using local farmer’s market spinach, baby sugar beets, honey tangerine, and if those aren’t fresh enough, we’re topping this off with a tangy, homemade Green Goddess Dressing. It’s light, full of fresh herbs and it’s green, so it has to be good for us.
This salad will find its vegetable balance with the additions of creamy goat cheese crumbles, sliced red onion, and some lightly toasted pistachios for crunch. I think the green goddess is a great compliment to the sweetness of the beets and tangerine. Really, the salad gives us an excuse to eat copious amounts of dressing, but the good news is it’s healthy. This colorful creation would be awesome for a luncheon, or just to feed your own face, and here is how you can. . . .
- ~ 3 cups fresh spinach, cleaned & roughly chopped
- 1 package baby sugar beets (~5 small beets), pre-cooked & chilled (or fresh cooked, cooled)
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ~1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- ½ cup pistachios, toasted & salted
- 1 honey tangerine, peeled, de-seeded & segmented
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3T light sour cream
- 2T white wine (I use Chardonnay)
- ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 T fresh chives, chopped
- ½ large ripe avocado (or 1 small avocado)
- 1.5 T fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp finely ground black pepper
- In food processor or blender, combine: yogurt, sour cream, salt, pepper chives, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, zest, and pulse to mix well.
- Next add white wine and avocado, and blend till smooth consistency with no large chunks.
- Transfer dressing to bowl and store in fridge until ready to use.
- In pan on stove, lightly toast the salted pistachios for a minute or so, stirring constantly, then chop coarsely, and set aside.
- Roughly chop cleaned spinach and toss with ~1 tablespoon (or more to your taste) of green goddess dressing, and put into bowl.
- To spinach add the sliced beets, tangerine segments, red onion, goat cheese crumbles & pistachios to desired amounts.
- Top salad with extra green goddess dressing as preferred.
Starting with the leafy layers. we build our bowl with a fresh farmer’s market variety of savoy spinach. I buy this Indian, curly variety when in season from a local grower, Rodney Farms. It’s heartier than the more common flat leaf spinach & tastes freshly fantastic! I’ve previously praised the health benefits of spinach on the dinnervine, especially in our garlic spinach & tomato pasta, and I still try to eat it several times per week. This salad makes that easy to do, but we’re not stopping the nutrition there, oh no. We’re going to include antioxidant-rich beets, honey tangerines, and the dressing? First thing that comes to mind with most dressings is they’re fat-full, which equals unhealthy. Ours however, will have a base of Greek yogurt, freshly chopped herbs, lemon, and avocado. No mayo. No oil, and you won’t miss them one little bit.
I find with spinach there are some leaf logistics to consider: washing fresh-from-the-farm-spinach, especially curly varieties is a must! Though this spinach is organic, it takes some time to clean thoroughly. I like to embrace some temporary OCD on these occasions and triple-wash mine. I rinse spinach bunches with cool water, submerge into a large bowl with cool water for several minutes, swish…rinse and repeat! (that almost sounded like a Pantene commercial) but regardless, you’ve gotta clean the green.
I store my rinsed spinach once air-dried, in gallon zip-lock with a paper towel inside to absorb any residual moisture. If you don’t have fresh market spinach, then the packaged and pre-rinsed baby spinach from the store is great too—and you don’t have to wash it 200 times—which will just leave more time for eating dressing.
Ring-in-Spring in your kitchen, with a bowl of goddess-inspired goodness!Pin It