I was tasked on preparing a beet salad and jeweled Persian rice for my mom’s Thanksgiving party. I will share the jeweled rice on another post…
My mom said all I had to do for the beet salad is combine cooked beets and pomegranates and top them with walnuts, lemon juice and olive oil. This is a common appetizer/salad at Armenian festivities. She really did not want to trouble me too much. But usually when someone does not want to trouble me is when I get the itch to get troubled. Or maybe, I was just in the mood to try something a little different. I decided to take the beet salad and make it very festive and have it scream holiday. I started cooking the beets and grating them. Then I decided to add carrots, but in raw form, grated again. Then wanted to make a vinaigrette and got inspired by Thomas Keller’s Walnut Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe as my basis…
Since the beets can transfer color to the carrots, I decided to layer everything one by one. Beets, dressing, hazelnuts, pomegranates, carrots, then start again… But when I took a bite out of my scraps of remaining veggies, I felt like something still was missing. That is when I decided to make a simple syrup and pour it over my salad. It did wonders to my salad and really combined and married all the flavors together.
Hope you enjoy! This will also be a great salad for a Christmas or any Winter festivity.
- 6 medium size red beets, cooked and grated
- 3 carrots, raw and grated
- 3-4 pomegranates, seeded
- 2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- salt to taste
Champagne Vinaigrette, adapted from Bouchon Bistro
- 6 tbsp dijon mustard
- 6 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt to taste
- 1/2 water
- 1/2 sugar
- 1 tbsp orange marmalade
Prepare the beets separately and season with salt.
Prepare the carrots separately and season with salt.
Chop the hazelnuts and seed the pomegranates.
Combine the mustard, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice together. Slowly start stirring the olive oil. With a small whisk or fork briskly stir the dressing at a fast pace to combine the oil with the vinegar base. Once the dressing has thicken in texture the dressing is ready for the salad.
Combine the sugar with water in a medium size sauce pan and cook on a medium heat. Once it starts to boil, let it cook another 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add in the orange marmalade and stir well to dissolve in the syrup. Let it cool down and start prepping the salad.
Start with layer of each: beets, dressing, pomegranates, carrots, hazelnuts and then more dressing and repeat as many times it’s necessary. Once layering complete, top with pomegranates and pour the simple syrup over the salad.