beet salad with lemon tahini

On a good day, this is what lunch looks like for me… other days, it’s a quick taco from the place down the street and an americano. But I love the (more leisurely) days where I have an extra few minutes to dig in the fridge and make something simple out of what I didn’t know was there.

Beets are generally a lunchtime food for me because Jack hates them. He’s come around on a lot of other foods, but thanks to an 80′s fad diet he apparently experienced as a kid, beets are out of the question.

For me, there’s not a salad I love more than a beet salad… and I love this juicy, sweet, salty, crunchy combo. I made this with tofu, but you could crumble on some goat or feta cheese instead to make this a bit more fancy. Or if plain tofu isn’t your thing, you could roast it (at the same time as the beets), I just didn’t think of it in advance.

serves 1
dressing adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Beet/tahini combo inspired by Sprouted Kitchen. 

INGREDIENTS:

a few handfuls of lettuce
1-2 beets, roasted & sliced
firm tofu, sliced into cubes (maybe 1/2 cup)
handful of peas (maybe 1/2 cup)
1-2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced small
handful of toasted sunflower seeds or other nuts

dressing: (this makes extra)
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, or ground in mortar and pestle
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon tahini
1-2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup or agave)
1-3 tablespoons water or olive oil (or a combination)
salt & pepper, to taste


METHOD:
Roast beets in a 450 degree oven, wrapped in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Check around 40 minutes, they’re done when you poke a fork and it almost slides out easily. Probably not more than 60 minutes, but this will depend on your oven and also the size of your beets.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Slide skin off once they’re cool enough to touch. It should come off pretty easily. Slice beets, drizzle a bit of honey (or agave) and sprinkle with a few pinches of suger. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

With a mortar and pestle (if you have one, otherwise with a knife), grind together garlic and a pinch of salt to create a paste. Directly in your mortar bowl (or place garlic paste in a small bowl) add tahini, lemon, honey and mix together. Thin with a bit of water or olive oil until it’s a drizzle-able consistency. Adjust lemon, honey, salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble salad, drizzle the dressing, and top with pepitas.

21 comments

  1. I only just realized how much I love beets! This salad looks wonderful.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      me too, I discovered I loved them just a few years ago…

  2. Ali Seiter from farmersmarketvegan.wordpress.com on said:

    Man, I really need to start remembering to add peas to my salads! I love the sweet pop of flavor they add, and would imagine they work very well with earthy beets. Thanks for the reminder to incorporate more peas into my lunchtime meals! :)

  3. sarah from thevanillabeanblog.com on said:

    This looks like a perfect lunch. My husband hates beets, too, and so they are usually a lunchtime/snack time affair for me. I will have to try this out soon!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      what is it with men and beets? I don’t get what’s not to love about them :)

      • Jason on said:

        My wife (and I) both LOVE beets. We’ll have to give this one a try!

  4. Beets just make everything better – the punch of red, the punch of flavour. Mmm mm.

  5. Kelly from snailsview.com on said:

    What a beautiful salad! I could eat this every day…

  6. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

    I also love roasted beets, especially in salad! Love the seasonal combination with the peas. I usually use some kind of cheese and nuts for protein in my beet salads, but I’m intrigued by your use of tofu!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      i think a lot of people might prefer cheese here – I dont/can’t eat a lot of it because I’m lactose intolerant. I tend to just toss raw tofu into lunchtime salads for a healthy protein that works better for me.

  7. Courtney Jones from thefigtree.blogspot.com on said:

    As a kid, every family event was commemorated with pickled beets. Grandpa grew them in his garden and pickled them himself each year. I hate the pickled beets! *hah* And I was forced to eat them. It was not until a few years ago that I finally tried roasted beets and I was hooked! I love the earthy flavour. This salad looks like it celebrates the best of such an under-appreciated vegetable :)

  8. Kasey from turntablekitchen.com on said:

    Making something simple out of the fridge that you didn’t realize is there: my best lunch plans are conceived that way! Beautiful dish, Jeanine!

  9. Jessie from jessbopeep.com on said:

    The tahini-honey-lemon combo is making my mouth water! Can’t wait to try it out!

  10. Everyone in my family won’t eat them, so beets are a lunch time food for me too. This look like my perfect midday meal! I’m definitely making it this week.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      aww, thanks!

  11. Leslie on said:

    This salad looks phenomenal – very fresh, and I love the use of beets.

  12. Lorijana on said:

    Beets canned,roasted,pickled, ALL are wonderful!

  13. Rebecca Knight from drrebeccaknight.com on said:

    Tuesday (last) night I made this salad and the sweet potato pear and sage soup. The only thing I did wrong was I probably should have steamed or cooked the peas. I bought sugar snap peas and my daughter and I popped them out of the shells and ate half while we did it. They tasted great by themselves but the pea taste was lost with the dressing and maybe would have been better cooked. BUT wow the roasted beets were awesome. I didn’t know really how to cook beets and my husband loves beets so that was an awesome find. I thought this way they were delicious too! I did throw them in a stirfry once and found they were great that way as well which was surprise. So another great dinner thanks! Tonight I had the night off but I ate some reheated soup for lunch and it was great again.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it (and now know how to roast beets)! Maybe tone down the tahini in the dressing so it’s lighter in flavor if you want to taste the peas more? Just a thought :)

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