Think light: Beet and Walnut Salad is seasonal favorite

Rachael Ray’s Beet and Walnut Salad is a light salad for spring.

Rachael Ray’s Beet and Walnut Salad is a light salad for spring.

Celebrate the first end of winter and the first days of spring with a light, spring salad. My first thoughts when March 20, the first day of Spring, hit the calendar was for something light and refreshing, something along the lines of a nice spring salad.

The Food Network came to my rescue with a Rachael Ray recipe featuring one of my favorite foods: Beets!

I love beets, whether plain or pickled. Rachael Ray is a icon on the Food Network and the best-selling author and editor-in-chief of her own lifestyle magazine put her stamp of approval on this Beet and Walnut Salad recipe.

Preparation level for this salad is “Easy,” and it serves four. Prep time is 10 minutes and cooking time is four minutes. I used pickled beets simply because I love the extra zing in them. I also added some croutons.

Beet and Walnut Salad

1/2 cup walnuts

1 heart romaine lettuce, chopped

1 can (14 oz.) sliced beets, drained and chopped.

4 radishes, chopped

1/2 small red onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 tablespoons black cherry, seedless raspberry or apricot preserves

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tsp. poppy seeds, optional

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Toast walnuts in a small pan over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes, then let them cool. Combine chopped lettuce, beets, radishes, onion, celery and toasted walnuts in a shallow bowl.

Place the preserves into a small bowl and whisk vinegar into it. Add poppy seed to dressing if you are using them.

Whisk olive oil into the dressing and season it with salt and pepper. Dress salad and toss to coat evenly.

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