In my quest to update beet salad, I was suddenly inspired by a bag of dried hibiscus flowers in my cupboard. It was a revelation when I dipped my finger in the blender. This recipe is so yummy, it even made it into the quintessential Vancouver food blog It's to Die For, when it was launched on the menu at Vancouver's Heirloom vegetarian restaurant
** note, I recommend using a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtech for this, to get the desired consistency.
- 4 cup water
- 1.5 cup dried hibiscus flower
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp star anise (ground)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil
- 1.5 cup hazelnuts (but any will do)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1tsp water
- 1/2 tsp each- cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt
- 10 cups spinach, arugula or mixed greens
- 1/2 red onion -cut in paper thin slices
- 1 Pear or Apple - Sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup blue cheese ( goat cheese is yummy too)
- Place unpeeled beets in saucepan. Cover with water and boil for 30 minute, or until fork easily pokes to the middle. Remove from heat, drain water and transfer to cold water. Once cool, begin rubbing the skins of the beet with thumbs. Beet skins should slide off easily without the need to peel. Slice to desired thickness. Put aside.
- Meanwhile put all dressing ingredients into Vitamix blender until smooth.
- Place brown sugar in frying pan at medium temp. Add water, spices and mix. When sugar is bubbling rapidly, add nuts, stirring for another 2 min on low heat. Then transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Let cool, then break nuts apart if sticking together.
- Mix beets, cheese, nuts, pear, onion together with desired amount of dressing. Serve immediately.
PS. For a different, but another take on beet salad, try this recipe: Roasted Rhubarb and Beet Salad