Happy [#summer #steaminghot #Ineedfreshveggies] Friday! I am going to dive right into this salad because it is full of energy. Asparagus are in season, but my usually roasted green dish needed a bit of a revamp. So I started playing with flavors and textures, until I spotted these dark red purple gems, beets. Beets have become a constant inhabitant in my refrigerator, pre-cooked I have to admit. Just so much easier to pop into salads or to add into my all times favorite beet chocolate brownie recipe [coming up soon]. Beets are so good. Why? High in Vitamin C, beets are true immune boosters. Also high in potassium, which takes care of your nerves and muscle function, manganese, for healthy bones, liver and kidneys, and bonus for expecting moms, they have a high B folate content. Have a look at this link to learn more about beets and their benefits.
Beets + mango are a pretty sweet match. The deep red beets carry a mix of tart sweetness while golden mangos are lusciously dolce. You can just combine those two over a bed of fresh arugula and top with roasted pine nuts. Voila, it makes a fresh vitamin packed summer salad. But this version here is a bit heartier and more filling - can be a meal on its own. And where is the dressing? You just need a little drizzle of one single ingredient: A smooth pure balsamic vinegar. That's all you need. Because the vegetables and fruit together with the creaminess from the goat cheese will run the show, the silky balsamic vinegar will give it all just a subtle accent.
INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
Fresh green asparagus, 1 whole bunch
2-3 cups of baby kale
1 whole mango, nicely ripened, pealed and cut into bite sized chunks
1 cup cooked beets, cut into larger pieces
1 hand full of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 to 4 Tablespoons soft goat cheese (or a bit more if you like)
A generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean asparagus and cut off harder ends, approx. 1.5 inches
- In a heated [coconut oil] greased pan toss asparagus until they start to brown, for approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on their thickness. Make sure stalks are soft enough to eat yet retained some crunchiness. Season asparagus with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper. Set pan to side and let cool.
- Cut up cooked beets in large chunks and mangoes in medium sized cubes.
- On a serving platter or large salad bowl, create the first layer with baby kale leaves. Lay asparagus on top of kale, followed by cut up beets and mango. Finally top salad with bits of soft goat cheese.
- Dressing: A drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Enjoy and send me a note if you gave this summer salad a try, tweaked or added anything to it. It's fun when a dish keeps evolving, there is so much to explore. Ok, there might be one exception to this rule: grandma's culinary treasures. Those for the most part stay intact, like jewels.
Happy 4th of July ~