Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spinach and shaved vegetable salad

I feel very lucky that I'm able to structure my work schedule so that I can take every other Friday off. I usually take those opportunities to catch up with friends, and this past Friday was no exception. I'm sure it won't surprise any of you to hear that most of my friends are into food. I met one of my friends for lunch in Berkeley, and afterwards we headed over to the Monterey Market which is one of the best produce markets in the area. I mean really, where else can you find baby artichokes that look like this?

artichokesI always find fun ingredients to work with when I shop there. Once I was even able to snag a fresh white truffle. This time around, I picked up some chiogga beets, purple carrots, opal basil and sweet limes with the intention of making a salad.

basil, chiogga beets, opal basil, purple carrots I already had some spinach in the fridge, so I decided to use that as my base. I tossed the spinach in a little bit of sweet lime juice and olive oil, then seasoned it with salt and pepper. I had never worked with sweet limes before, and as advertised, they're sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I know it will be difficult, if not impossible for most of you to find these, so I wrote the recipe with lemon juice instead. Next, I added in some thinly shaved yellow and chiogga beets, along with some shaved purple carrots. I finished the salad with some chive flowers, opal basil and shaved ricotta salata.

This was quite delicious, with a lot of great flavors and textures. It may also be the prettiest salad I've ever made.

spinach salad, shaved carrots, shaved beets, ricotta salata
Spinach and shaved vegetable salad
Serves 2

4 cups baby spinach
1 bunch of baby carrots, trimmed and thinly shaved lengthwise
1 small chiogga beet, thinly shaved
1 small yellow beet, thinly shaved
1 tablespoon of opal basil, torn
2 tablespoons of ricotta salata, shaved
chive flowers for garnish
lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Dress the spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss and taste; adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the carrots and beets to the spinach. Sprinkle the basil, ricotta salata and chive flowers over the top.

64 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

That is definitely the prettiest salad I have ever seen!

LaDue & Crew said...

Wow, so pretty! I've never thought of slicing a carrot that way... a beautiful presentation! I can't wait to find some of those!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Sara, I love all the food you make, but I think your salads are my favorites. This one is so original and pretty.
Nancy

Selba said...

Wow... I've never seen purple carrot in my life, interesting!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful, tasty and so healthy! A gorgeously refined salad!

Cheers,

Rosa

Angie's Recipes said...

You are a queen of vegetables/Salad.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What gorgeous vegetables. Wow - how I wish I lived out there and could shop in that market.
Your salad is beautiful. I agree with Angie - you are the salad queen.
Sam

girlichef said...

Um, yes...prettiest salad EVER! You always have gorgeous food...this is so colorful and tempting, looks great Sara!

Jamie said...

That is really one gorgeous salad! I'll bet you had to close your eyes before digging in! The ingredients blew me away - baby artichokes I can actually get easily all year round, but all of those other vegetables I have never even seen! Beautiful!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Yes, very pretty!
Love the carrots. Did you share this yummy salad with your friends?

Stephanie said...

MMM How refreshing looking! Basil and ricotta salata, gorgeous addition

Claudia said...

This is one gorgeous salad. A work of art! I cannot get all the evegetables that you get in CA - but I can approximate. Great presentation. Showing me how pretty healthy can be!

Stacey Snacks said...

Beets are my favorite!
Beautiful colors in this salad and great pics.

Joan Nova said...

My favorites -- vegetables and color! You're very lucky to have such nice produce to choose from.

Manggy said...

The shaved veg look beautiful-- especially that carrot! Lovely :)

lisaiscooking said...

That is a beautiful salad! I'm so jealous of your CA markets. It must fun to find so much great produce.

Natashya said...

Sounds divine! You always have such great produce.

stephchows said...

Farmers markets really are the best place for dinner time inspiration!

Olga said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous!!! Love produce from farmer's markets.

5 Star Foodie said...

Gorgeous veggies and the salad is so pretty and delicious! Love it!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

That looks so amazing! I LOVE markets! I would want to buy everything! haha

Isn't it great to have foodie friends? haha

noble pig said...

It's very beautiful, so colorful and appetizing!

Debbie said...

Wow, what an absolutely beautiful and colorful salad....So pretty!

Amanda said...

I have *GOT* to move to California to get me some of those great veggies on a regular basis!

The Duo Dishes said...

Those colors are amazing! These purple carrots always make our mouths drop.

Maris said...

I love spinach salad. I'm not a big meat-eater so it's a great way to get in some iron and other healthy nutrients!

Reeni♥ said...

How gorgeous! I bet it was delicious!

Lori said...

This looks like candy to me. It looks so artistic Sara. Beautiful!

Monica H said...

Your produce is beautiful- I'm so jealous!

Cheryl said...

Sarah that is gorgeous, truly!

oneshotbeyond said...

the beets and the cheese make me want to dig in!

The Blonde Duck said...

Those colors are so rich!

Marta said...

Well, I think it's the prettiest salad I have seen! I'm sure it tasted delicious. At my farmers' market I can get interesting root veg, and fantastic basil, but never fruit or other veg, just the traditional stuff.
I also have every other Friday off and, man, I love it!!!

Sarah said...

Awesome! I'm growing purple carrots, candy cane beets and Thai basil this year - this salad's on the list!

Lynda said...

What a gorgeous salad! Your picture is pretty enough to frame, Sara! I know it must be extremely tasty!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I envy you for the wonderful produce available. Beautiful salad!

Tracey said...

What a beautiful salad Sara! I love the colors!

Diana said...

That salad looks like a work of art! I'd want to take a picture and put it on my fridge. :)

Culinary Wannabe said...

Beautiful salad!! I love that you buy such colorful and unique veggies at the market.

Soma said...

Beautiful Colors!

melissa said...

The Monterey Market? Luuuuckeeee. I really need to get myself to a market down here in Socal and quick. The salad looks so lovely and full of some of my favorite things.

Heather said...

gorgeous! i love the shaved beets!!

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

what a great market you have!
this salad is so fun. It looks almost like its made out of paper! How did you keep the colors so bright?

Leslie said...

sweet limes? Never heard of them!
I love this salad..so fresh and light

The Food Hunter said...

that is the prettiest salad ever. what an interesting mix of vegetables

Sarah said...

What a gorgeous salad! I'm so glad it's spring :)

Chef Fresco said...

How colorful! Very nice presentation!

Krista said...

That's not just a salad, it's a work of art! Gorgeous!

Charlotte said...

That has to be the most colorful salad I have ever seen.

Miette said...

Sara, this salad looks so pretty! I've never thought of slicing a carrot... what a great idea for such a beautiful presentation!

Cheers,

Miette.

Katherine Aucoin said...

You got me with the purple carrot! Gorrgeous salad Sara!

karl's sweet child said...

colorful salad!!! i happen to faithfully love pineapple ;P

Sara said...

Foodie - I made this a few days later, so she didn't get to try it.

LK - Everything is raw, so no color loss through cooking. The vegetables just need to be shaved very thinly on a mandoline so that they're not tough. As you can see, the carrots are orange on the inside, so if you peel them, you lose the pretty color.

Kerstin said...

What a gorgeous salad! I'm so jealous you have such a great produce market to visit!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh Sara.. that is just gorgeous. It almost looks to pretty to eat and I love the simplicity of the dressing.

finsmom said...

What a healthy and tasty sounding salad!
Love the idea of the shaved veggies! So clever!

Bridgett said...

I always love when driving through Monterey you get to see the artichokes peeking out from on top of their huge plant. It cracks me up how huge the plant is! This salad looks amazing! Gorgeous colors and flavors.

unconfidential cook said...

Gorgeous...and so perfect for spring!

Christina Kim said...

Sara, this is just too pretty to eat! Truly, a gorgeous, and I'm sure tasty, salad.

By the way, thank you for your kind words of support on my blog, I truly appreciate it.

teresa said...

Absolutely gorgeous, as usual! I would just love to dig into this!

Bharti said...

Pretty pretty salad!
Just oh so pretty Sara.

gaga said...

That's a gorgeous salad! I've never seen veggies like that!

leslie said...

that salad is beautiful and i can only imagine a flavor celebration! thanks for sharing

maggiedon said...

Must make this when our local pick-your-own farm sells its beetroot - thanks for the beautiful recipe and pics