Beet, Pluot and Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Lemon Ginger Dressing

I just ate this for lunch. Delicious! I must really be maturing because a year ago I thought I hated them but now I’m even enjoying beets without the help of goat cheese or toasted nuts (both could be added but I promise it’s not necessary). The real star of this salad is the pluot. In case you’re not familiar, a pluot is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. It has the texture of a plum but the flesh is slightly more firm and sweet and the skin is not as bracingly tart but still has a good little pucker to it. They really liven up and compliment the earthy sweet beet.  They are in season now, I picked them up at Costco, and you’ll know they are ripe if they feel a little soft when pressed.

This salad comes together quickly; you’ll start by making the dressing right in the serving bowl. If you have your own roasted beets on hand, congratulations. If not, I hope it goes without saying there’s no shame in a shortcut and these precooked Love Beets are great.
Make sure you use truly sweet onions, also in season now, such as Walla Walla if you’re in the Pacific Northwest. Vidalia and Maui are also well known varieties. You should be able to take a bite of raw onion and actually enjoy it – an added bonus is they generally don’t cause tears.
Beet, Pluot and Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Lemon Ginger Dressing
(serves 4 – 6)
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ginger root, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp honey
pinch of salt
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2 ripe pluots, sliced
3 medium sized beets, cooked, sliced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Juice one lemon, a small/medium one should yield approximately 2 TB.
Peel about 2 inches of ginger root.
Place lemon juice in large salad bowl, using a microplane, grate in ginger root.
Add honey, salt and olive oil, whisk briskly to fully combine, tip the bowl if you need to.
Add freshly ground pepper to your taste.
Slice pluots away from the pit and halve the slices to get large chunks.
Quarter and slice the beets.
Place pluots and beets in bowl… Aren’t they cute together?
Add spinach and onion, toss to combine all the ingredients in the salad.
Finish with a little more salt and pepper and you’re done!
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I signed my girls up for only two weeks of day camp this summer. The first week was in late June, the other is this week. I don’t think it’s coincidence my only other blog post of the summer was that late June week… Oh well! I’ll see you in the fall if the rest of the summer escapes me. 8 year old girls are too much fun!
When I get discouraged about my lack of productivity (which is often!) I try to remember these words of wisdom.
“When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.”
Anna Quindlen