This autumn salad recipe was inspired by beautiful yellow and red leaves which had fallen into a sword fern on the Marquam trail recently. Thinking then of yellow and red beets, I remembered a simply delicious side dish my cousin Ian made in August – thinly sliced beets topped with chevre. Green ribbons of spinach, earthy walnuts, and red onion were a natural choice.
- 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
- 2 yellow and 1 red medium size beets
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into ribbons
- 4 oz fresh chevre
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar
I used Lotus Foods heirloom Bhutan red rice for this recipe– it has a slightly nutty flavor, a fabulous texture, and beautiful red brown color. So it’s perfect for this autumn salad recipe (and also happens to be my favorite rice for Thai dishes.) I picked a chevre with honey, which is wonderful in how it offsets the raw onion and beets.
Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, remove root and rough stem from beets, then cut into quarters and steam or simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Rinse with cold water, then use fingers or sharp knife to remove skin. Chop beets into small cubes. Remove stems from fresh spinach, then slice into ribbons. Transfer rice, spinach, beets and walnuts into casserole dish, mixing well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and beets.