Spinach Salad with Raw Beets

This wonderful all-season spinach salad is packed with vitamins A and C, and rich in iron and potassium.

Slightly bitter taste of spinach leaves combines well with sweet, earthy raw beet and nutty jicama flavors.

Served with rice, this salad can make a colorful light vegetarian dinner dish .

Choose spinach leaves that are crisp and dark, and rinse very thoroughly to remove grit.

For a better taste and tender texture, pick up raw beets that are fresh and smaller in size.

Spinach salad recipe

What you need:

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette :

  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Spinach Salad and Beets:
  • 3 cups shredded spinach leaves
  • 4 cups torn Boston (Bibb or butterhead) lettuce
  • 1 cup finely shredded raw beets
  • ¼ lb jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecan bits

Saffron Rice :

  • 1 ¼ cup basmati or regular long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, or half-teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons raisins or currants
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

What to do:

  1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes in a nonstick pan and roast, turning as needed until completely charred, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat and roast for another 5 minutes, until tomatoes are very soft.

    Alternatively, roast halved lengthwise and tossed with olive oil tomatoes in a 425°F oven on a baking sheet, cut side up, for about 30 minutes.

    Allow roasted tomatoes to cool and transfer to a blender, or food processor to puree. Pass puree through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Reserve liquid and discard solids. Combine tomato liquid with oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and whisk lightly. Set aside.
  2. Cook rice: Bring rice and water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add saffron, cinnamon stick and currants, and simmer, covered, over low heat until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered, for another 10 minutes.
    Remove cinnamon stick and season with salt and pepper. Add pistachio and butter or oil. Fluff rice with a fork and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  3. Assemble spinach salad: In a large bowl, toss together spinach, lettuce and jicama. Add tomato vinaigrette to taste and toss. Sprinkle with pecans. Peel and shred the beets. In a separate bowl, add vinaigrette to beets and toss.
  4. Serve: Place spinach salad in middle of plate and a small mound of beets on the side. If serving with saffron rice, place rice on the other side of spinach.
Serves 6
Total prep time: 40-50 minutes

Tips and Variations:

  • Substitute 1/4 teaspoon turmeric for the saffron. The rice will turn a bright yellow to create a vivid contrast to the salad and beets.
  • Saffron rice by itself is a good side dish for almost any meal.
  • Add tomato dressing to spinach mix and beets to taste, but don’t overdress the salad.

More beet recipes? Try these recommendations:

Beet and Egg Salad | Tender Greens and Beets in Skillet

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