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February 5, 2018

The Rainbow Spinach Salad

by Anne Paddock

Rainbows are in short supply in the wintertime so instead of looking outside turn to the kitchen for an updated version of the spinach salad.  I call this salad a Rainbow Spinach Salad because of the array of colors: red, yellow, light green, orange dark green, and deep purplish black. Although beautiful to look at, the Rainbow Spinach Salad is a feast to savor with only one caveat:  you must like fresh beets because there are two types (both yellow and red) and they are a substantial part of this easy-to-make salad.

The Rainbow Spinach Salad does not need a lot of dressing because there are so many flavors but do serve a mustard based dressing. I use a simple dressing made of stone ground mustard mixed with maple syrup and water to add a savory tangy flavor to the salad.

Rainbow Spinach Salad  (serves 6-8)

Salad Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces of organic baby spinach
  • 3 yellow beets
  • 3 red beets
  • 1 Haas avocado
  • 1 cup of fresh english peas
  • 1/4 cup of raw black lentils or 1 cup of cooked black lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, optional

Mustard Maple Dressing

  • 1/2 cup of stone ground mustard (I use Eden Organic Stone Ground Mustard)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Trim the stems off the beets and place on a piece of parchment paper in a baking dish. Cover the dish and bake for about an hour at 400 degrees or until the beets are tender (the amount of time will vary depending on the size of the beets). Remove the beets from the oven, allow to cool, and then gently peel the skin off the beets and slice into small pieces. Set aside.

Place a 1/4 cup of black lentils into a pot with a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the lentils are tender.  Remove the pot from the heat and take the cover off.  Set aside.

Place the stone ground mustard, maple syrup, and water in a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds (or use a bowl and whisk for about a minute). Pour into a salad dressing bottle to make the dressing easy to pour. Set aside.

Peel the carrots and then using a peeler, create carrot peels. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place 1 cup of fresh peas into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds (don’t cook the peas any longer or they will be mushy). Drain, rinse and set aside.

Cut the Haas avocado into small bite-sized pieces.

Place the spinach in a large wide serving bowl.

Take the avocado, beets, peas, lentils, and carrot ribbons and arrange in rows along the top of the spinach. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds for an added crunch.

Serve with the salad dressing.

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