Beet and Arugula Salad

The idea for this side dish came from one of those rare nights out when my wife and I manage to score a babysitter and we can head out for a grown-up dinner. One of our favorite places to eat is a little place called Wahoo. Their seared ahi tuna is amazing, as are their scallops (my wife gets the scallops piccata pretty much every time). They also have a really lovely beet and arugula salad. I am not sure I could get the whole family to eat seared ahi, but this is one salad I could get all three kids to enjoy.

So here’s our at-home rendition Wahoo’s beet and arugula salad–there’s not a lot of measuring going on in this simple side dish, so feel free to adjust to your tastes.

5 handfuls of arugula, washed and dried
4-5 small, cooked beets (pickled or fresh), sliced
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1-1/2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon basil pesto
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

Create a bed of arugula on a serving plate, then arrange the slices of beets in a single layer. I have used both pickled and plain beets for this salad, and we like it equally well both ways. If you are using fresh beets, boil them in their skins until tender; cool, peel, and slice. Sprinkle crushed walnuts and feta cheese evenly.

Whisk together the pesto, olive oil, and vinegar. Warm slightly and drizzle over the salad. If you do not have any basil pesto kicking around, be creative. My wife subbed out 1/4 teaspoon of coarse mustard not too long ago for a tasty alternative. Salt to taste, and serve.

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