I’m really trying to work on my Whole Foods salad/hot bar problem.
You know, the one where you go grocery shopping with the purpose of buying ingredients for cooking at home and then fill up a cardboard container with all the prepared food on the salad/hot bar because you don’t feel like cooking right now?
It’s quite appealing to be able to try a large variety of options instead of committing to just one. And convenient. But not real economical to be doing a few times a week. As you probably know, paying by weight means the total can shoot up very quickly.
So I’ve been working on a few recipes of my own, that last for days and are the kind of thing I would pick out at that salad bar. This Super Pink Beet & Rice Salad with purple cabbage and toasted walnuts is one I’ve fully committed to, happily eating it for lunch several times throughout the week.
It’s no surprise that the vibrant magenta of beets draws me in, something I can’t say no to. I’ve made Beet Deviled Eggs, Sweet Beet Yogurt Bowl, Garlicky Beet Sauce. The idea behind this grain salad was two-fold. First, I wanted a meal that didn’t leave me snacky two hours later. Second, I envisioned the beets bleeding into the stark white jasmine rice to create something incredibly eye catching. Both goals accomplished.
There are quite a few components that make this salad a winner. The soft and floral white rice that meets sweet and earthy beets. Finely shredded purple cabbage that adds a bit of crunch, and toasted walnuts for added texture and flavor. Fresh parsley and lemon, the two things you shouldn’t hold back on, bringing overall brightness to the bowl.
And finally, a sour cream/garlic/red wine vinegar based dressing, which you add the juice of the roasted beets in order to create that stunning color. Not overly creamy, and just tangy enough.
If you have other grains leftover from another meal, by all means use them in this beet salad recipe.
One thing to keep in mind though – you want separate, intact grains that hold onto their starch, so make sure they aren’t overcooked. This way they’ll absorb dressing properly and won’t release the starch into the rest of the salad.