Ra’s Springtime Salad

As we had expected and jokingly discussed before I arrived, my time in Salinas was going to be filled with good food. Anne is an amazing cook and an even more extraordinary baker; I think she was my mother’s soul sister of the cookie dough, both cut from the same recipe or ingredients. Beth is a world-class griller. With the backdrop of the Salinas Valley, home to more than just John Steinbeck and Earthbound Farms; Salinas is the very place most of the finest produce is grown in the United States. Set just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and the vast bounty of the sea, we had pretty spectacular ingredients to start with. We cooked and shared recipes and approaches often. Some meals one of us cooked, others two, and yet others each of us would contribute.

Inspired by one of our weekly visits to the Monterey Farmers Market I threw this salad together for dinner. Beth loved it so much she requested I make it again, and then again, she also dubbed it Ra’s Springtime Salad!

It is the perfect nod to the season and to local ingredients. It might just be one of the most splendid combinations of flavors with the sweet roasted beets, the toothy and substantial edamame, and the smooth and buttery finish of avocado. The dressing is also simple and takes a similar nod towards the combination of ingredients to the salad; a basic balsamic vinaigrette with a sweet note to reflect the beets.

We had many fine meals and all of them made that much finer for the company that surrounded them. Over the next few days/week I am going to share some of our favorite experiments in the kitchen. But I thought there was no better way to start my recipe retrospective on spring in Salinas then with this salad.

I wish you all the very best of the bountiful springtime season, I wish you warm stoves, full stomachs, and happy taste buds. And to Anne and Beth (and Dog Dude Dusty), the very largest of thanks for letting me play in your kitchen these past two months and for the fantastic meals we shared.



Ra’s Springtime Salad

1 pound Beets (red or golden will work in this recipe, though we did prefer the golden)

1 Avocado

10 oz shelled edamame fresh or frozen


¼ cup of olive oil

¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or agave or honey)

Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Wash and roast beets. Depending on size I sometimes had to cut them to do this, other times I could just roast them in a baking dish with water. Roast beets until tender and skin can easily peel off. Let beets cool not completely but until they can be handled. Peel beets and cut into 1/4 inch chunks.

If using frozen edamame boil in salted water until they are cooked but still a bit firm to the tooth. Drain and set aside.

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and whisk. Add the beets and edamame. It is best if the beets and edamame are still just slightly warm because they will soak up more of the dressing this way.

Cut the Avocado into ¼ inch pieces about the same size as the beet. Add the avocado to the salad and then taste for salt and pepper.

Enjoy! This salad is wonderful fresh and still slightly warm or cold the next day.


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05 2011

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  1. Dusty the dog #

    Um…excuse me….but I didn’t get to actually try the salad. It looks really good! Although the photos make the salad look really good, I would like for someone to please give me just a little sample of the salad to try…….Thank you.

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