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How to Make a Use-Your-CSA Salad

Big Salad

This salad normally wouldn’t be worth a post, but I’m posting it for two reasons. The first is that it’s a part of my “Husband Alone with the CSA” series and needs to be included to show how I used everything up (including the lettuces). The second reason is because of a fundamentally more important lesson: always pre-roast your beets!

I can’t emphasize that enough. When you’re making something quick that could benefit from roasted beets (and what doesn’t?), encountering raw beets in your fridge is a major drag. 95% of the time our use of beets calls for them to be foil-roasted anyway, so my M.O. is just to roast them as soon as possible, when you’re not hungry but you’ll be near the oven (at least in the living room) for 90 minutes. They’ll store for a few weeks and you can toss them into whatever you want.

I made this salad for lunch three times over the course of the week to use up the leftover tomatoes, sweet red peppers, and lettuces. It was delicious and quick and easy, but without the beets it would have been boring.

Big CSA Salad

Makes 1 big serving, 2 normal servings, or 4 sides

Amount Ingredient Preparation Notes
Some Lettuces Torn into bite-sized pieces Whatever you have, as much as you want (you can even through in some raw kale if you’re so inclined)
1 Ripe tomato Chopped
1 Sweet pepper Chopped Red, yellow, orange, whatever… green in a pinch
1 Roasted beet Sliced into 0.5 inch quarter-rounds See below
1/3 part Olive oil
1/3 part Balsamic vinegar Spring for the real stuff, not the chemical kind
1/3 part Apple cider vinegar We made our own, natch ;) !
1 TBsp Dijon mustard I make it a very heaping TBsp
Some Black pepper Freshly ground
A pinch Kosher salt


  1. Roast your beets. DO THIS IN ADVANCE! Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. On each beet, chop off the base of the greens stalk, and chop off the tendril at the tip (if there is one). Scrub off any dirt. Wrap each beet individually in foil. Cover a sheet pan with foil. Place the foiled beets on the pan and bake.

    If there are any small beets (~ golf balls) remove them after 60 minutes. For anything up to the size of a softball, bake for 90 minutes. For anything bigger, you’re on you own. Take it to a state fair.

    Let the beets cool until you can handle the foil, then unwrap them. Let them cool completely and, with a paper towel in each hand, palm the opposing sides and twist the skin off. If they are cooked enough, the skin should come off easily (although maybe not all in one perfect shot). Store the peeled beets whole in a tupperware in the fridge until you are ready to use the.

    Oh, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything, and wash your hands between each beet if you want to make your hand-washing a little easier.

  2. Prep (tear / chop) the rest of the vegetables, and slice the beets for the salad.
  3. Mix the dressing, using about the same amount of each of the three liquids until you get to your desired amount of dressing. Add the dijon and mix / whisk / shake. I don’t measure. I use an old spice shaker, which nets me about enough dressing for two salads of the size pictured. Salt and pepper the salad, add the dressing, and toss. The beets juice and the dressing will mix into a nice sweet purple dressing with a kick, but one that stains badly, so eat carefully!
  4. Big Salad

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