Orange Thyme Salad with Glazed Beets and Spiced Walnuts
I am not going to lie, this salad has a lot going on. But in a well paired, delicious way. Orange spiced walnuts, balsamic glazed beets, a wonderful orange- thyme-walnut dressing…it’s tough not to love all these flavors. The best part is they love each other!
I am a big proponent of keeping things simple. When I see a recipe that has fifteen plus ingredients, first, I pass out. I mean, who wants to spend that amount of time making something? Then, I feel bad because I can guarantee that the beauty of the main ingredients has probably been lost when so many competing flavors are coming at you.
I like simple. I am going to confuse you and tell you I also like complex. But complex in a way that emphasizes the freshness and taste of the main ingredients. In this recipe, I started with four things that I know go well together. Oranges, beets, walnuts and thyme. They are the main ingredients, the stars you might say. If you want to keep it “simple” but highlight those ingredients, you layer flavor.
I first learned the true beauty of flavor layering from Chef Eric Harcey, an extremely talented chef I had the pleasure to photograph for Sotheby’s “Artful Living”. He also consented to let me shoot and highlight him in my other blog, Shooting The Kitchen. Eric served a beet salad that used beets in at least 3 different ways, fresh, pureed and dehydrated. The flavor was amazing and highlighted the beets in a way I had never tasted before. That is layering. You can see the salad I am talking about here.
In this salad, the walnuts are sweetened and spiced with honey, maple syrup, himalayan salt, pepper and orange zest. I dare you to not eat them all before they go into the salad. The dressing is made from oranges, walnuts, and thyme. The balsamic glazed beets provide a nice accent while the orange segments reinforce the orange that is in the spiced walnuts, and dressing. See how that works?
This salad comes together quite quickly. You just need to plan a little ahead for the walnuts and beets. I did them in the dehydrator but if you are really careful, you can do them in the oven. Just know they won’t be raw.
- Dehydrator (optional)
- Dehydrate beets
- Dehydrate walnuts
- 1 cup walnuts*
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- coarse ground Himalayan salt and pepper (fresh ground, coarse)
- Mix together honey, maple syrup, salt, pepper and orange zest.
- Toss with walnuts and dehydrate at 118 for 4-6 hours or until dry.
- 2 beets, diced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- Mix together vinegar, oil and maple syrup. Add beets and marinate for a few hours or overnight.
- Spread on dehydrator sheet, dehydrate at 118 for 2-3 hours. Do not over dehydrate.
Orange Thyme Walnut Dressing
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon diced shallot
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Blend together orange juice, lemon juice, shallot, walnuts and thyme.
- With blender running, slowly pour in olive oil until the dressing thickens.
- 1 orange
- 4-6 cups mixed greens
- orange thyme dressing
- glazed beets
- spiced walnuts
- Supreme orange (remove membranes) and cut each segment into quarters.
- Toss greens with dressing to desired coating.
- Top with walnuts and beets.
* These walnuts are used dry. You can soak and dehydrate your nuts if you want to eliminate the enzyme inhibitors.
Marie wrote on September 18, 2013
I love beets and oranges together, the addition of the walnuts takes this salad over the top!
Teresa dos Santos wrote on August 27, 2013
What a great recipe! The salad looks delicious! I tried to make it, but it certainly didn’t look like the one in the picture, it tasted good though