Carrot-Beet Salad with a Leek-Lemon Vinaigrette

Last week, when I was making the carrot-beet cutlets, I thought a carrot-beet salad might be good – and nice to look at, too. Both vegetables have an earthy sweetness; in this recipe, carrots’ milder tone help counter beets’ dark intensity.

Just carrots and beets seemed a little dull – I thought about making this a grain salad, with quinoa or couscous, but I wasn’t in the mood, so in the chickpeas went. I think it would work well, though, to toss this with one of those, with or without the chickpeas.

I had this for dinner, tossed (along with a little bit of extra dressing) with some red leaf lettuce from our CSA box. The carrots are also from T&D Willey, the beets are from K.M.K Farms, and the mint, lemon and leeks are from Il Giardino Organico.

Salad:
3 large carrots, diced (about 2 c.)
6 small beets, scrubbed
2 c. cooked chickpeas
about 20 mint leaves, torn or chopped into tiny pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the scrubbed beets in a small oven-safe baking dish. Add a half-cup of water and cover. Bake for one hour, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool, slip the skins off the beets and cut them in similar-sized pieces as the carrots.

While the beets are roasting, place the carrots in a steaming basket over boiling salted water and cover. Steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Place the carrots, diced beets, chickpeas and torn mint leaves in a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside.

Dressing:
2/3 c. olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
3 small leeks, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the work bowl of a small food processor. Process until uniform. Check seasoning, then pour over salad ingredients and toss gently.

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