When summer begins, you always have such good intentions. You think you’re going to be super fit, eating nothing but fresh produce and jogging every morning.
And when September arrives, you realize your summer has been full of excuses: it’s too nice to do anything but grill steaks and sit in the backyard, it’s too warm out to run but it’s summer and you just can’t bear to lock yourself in the gym, it’s too hot to eat anything other than ice cream for dinner. You realize you’d better get a grip on your habits before entering serious baking and braising territory.
You, of course, is actually me and I’m feeling like my summer livin’ is catching up with me. I’m feeling ready to acknowledge the fact that the weather is absolutely perfect for jogging and long walks and that I’m ready to make salads a big part of my life for the next couple of weeks.
I really shouldn’t act like it’s a huge sacrifice. This salad is kind of amazing–julienned red beets and carrots jazzed up with golden raisins, crushed pistachios, and mint. It’s a recipe I found in Bon Appetit with a few of my own touches, namely fennel and orange zest (big surprise!). It’s crunchy, refreshing, and addictive, not to mention down-right beautiful. But, enough talk, let’s put this salad together.
Gather up your main ingredients: red beets, carrots, scallions, and mint.And assemble your accessories: fennel seeds, orange zest, golden raisins, red pepper, and roasted pistachios.
Plump the raisins in white wine vinegar with orange zest, red pepper, and crushed fennel seeds while you julienne the beets and carrots.
If ever there was a reason to buy a mandoline, it was this salad. If you have one, you’ll have your beets and carrots turned into matchsticks in mere minutes. If you don’t, you can practice your knife skills or shred the vegetables on a box grater, though it won’t have quite the same look or as much crunch.
Place your julienned beets and carrots in a big bowl along with chopped scallions and the golden raisin mixture. Season with salt and pepper then…
…give it a good toss. Hit with a drizzle of olive oil and quickly toss once more. All done!
Admire your beautiful jewel-toned salad and dig in. Fall baking and braising can hold off for a week, we’re enjoying the in-between.
- ¾ c. Golden Raisins
- ½ tsp. Fennel Seeds, crushed
- ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- zest of 1 Orange
- ¼ c. White Wine Vinegar
- 5 small or 3 medium Red Beets, peeled and julienned
- 6 medium Carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 bunches Scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced on a diagonal
- ½ c. Fresh Mint Leaves
- ¾ c. Roasted Shelled Pistachios
- Salt & Black Pepper
- ⅓ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Combine raisins, fennel, red pepper flakes, orange zest, and vinegar in a small bowl. Allow the raisins to soak and plump while you julienne the beets and carrots and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine beets, carrots, scallions, mint, and the raisin mixture in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Add oil and gently toss once more. The salad keeps well for a day or 2.