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Golden Beet Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette
“You might think of dried apricots as a colorful, tasty snack, but in this healthy beet salad recipe they're pureed into the dressing, adding both sweetness and a silky texture. The fruitiness and spices are well-balanced in this dish, but if you like, add another dimension with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon or mint.”
10 dried apricots
¾ cup boiling water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup malt vinegar
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro
2 thin, round slices fresh ginger
½ fresh green serrano chile, seeded if desired
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1½ pounds medium golden beets, peeled and cut into eighths
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 medium firm ripe mangoes, cubed
½ cup unsalted raw shelled pistachios
½ teaspoon salt
12 cups trimmed mature spinach (8 ounces)
1To prepare vinaigrette: Combine apricots and boiling water in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes.
2Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and toast, shaking the pan every 5 seconds, until they start to crackle and smell very nutty, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a blender.
3Add ¼ cup oil, vinegar, cilantro, ginger, chile and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the apricots and ¼ cup of the soaking liquid (reserve the remaining liquid). Blend until smooth.
4To prepare salad: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover and cook until they stop popping, about 30 seconds. Add beets, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the beets are light brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Add ginger and the remaining soaking liquid; stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beets are fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in mango, pistachios and salt. Remove from heat.
5Place spinach onto a platter and drizzle with ½ cup of the vinaigrette. Top with the warm beets and mangoes. Serve with additional dressing, if desired.
To make ahead: Refrigerate vinaigrette for up to 3 days.