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As many of you “foodie” people know – there’s always a new food trend either heating up or dying down. The clothing you see in stores certainly evolves and particular looks come and go: bell bottoms, flowy tops, neon colors. And what you see in grocery markets and on menus is no exception. Right now – beets, pistachio nuts, ricotta and arugula are in the spotlight. I cannot remember finding fresh beets or arugula (I didn’t even know what that was) on menus decades ago, but at this point in time if you peruse restaurant offerings here in Seattle, you’d be hard pressed not to find these ingredients featured in some type of dish. I hardly refer to myself as trendy … but I gotta say – I love my beets and arugula!
The salad I created here is a copycat from a place in Ballard, Washington where I ate the other night: Percy’s, a creole/southern restaurant. It was LOUD and too noisy for me, and the bar was filled on a Monday night with oodles and scads of adorable young people. My friend and I guessed that we were at least 30 years older than anyone else there. And I’m not that old!! Thankfully, this restaurant had Sidi Bel Abbès the most delicious food.
Trendy Beet Arugula Salad
- Fresh roasted, peeled beets – I used eight average-sized ones
- 4 cups fresh baby arugula
- 1 ½ cups shelled and coarsely chopped pistachios
- ¼ English cucumber
- 1 cup fresh ricotta salata cheese
- Lots of fresh ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
Prepare your beets by following my instructions here.
Prepare English cucumber batons by halving the cucumbers, removing seeds and slicing into 1 ½ inch x ¼ inch pieces with the skin still on.
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, and use about one tablespoon to coat the cucumber batons for 20 minutes, then drain the batons and add the liquid to the dressing you’ve made.
When you’re ready to serve, toss the arugula and cucumbers with the rest of the dressing. For each plated serving, heap one cup of the dressed arugula and cucumber, sprinkle with slices of beets, pistachios, and dollop with the ricotta. Top with ground pepper and serve.
I made this alongside very simple, oven blasted fresh salmon and it was a meal from the gods. Truly.
I also tried this with feta to replace ricotta – and it had more zing. It changed the whole thing so decide if you prefer a different cheese.