BLESSED BEET SALAD

Now that spring is upon us, it's time to start thinking about warm-weather entertaining! That means cookouts and picnics and sunset dinner out by the pool! What will we be craving? Light, plant-based fare that's full of flavor, easy to prepare, and will inject a punch of color to your table. Enter the Blessed Beet Salad, a recipe created by Organic Avenue founder Denise Mari. Those vivid red beets are a real eye-catcher -- they get their hue from the cancer-fighting agent called beta-cyanide. The mix it up with bright orange carrots, which help improve vision and may help prevent color cancer. The Preserved Lemon-Mint dressing is a refreshing splash of citrus with a hint of minty coolness.

INGREDIENTS

For dressing

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup mint leaves

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)

1/2 preserved lemon, chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt if needed

For salad

4 carrots, coarsely shredded

2 medium beets, peeled and coarsely shredded

Handful of pistachios

HOW TO MAKE IT

The dressing

1. Combine water, mint, garlic, lemon juice and preserved lemon in a blender until smooth.

2. With motor still running, drizzle olive oil through hole in the top of the led and continue to blend until dressing is emulsified.

3. Taste-test and adjust seasonings to your liking.

The salad

1. Place carrots and beets in a big bowl and toss to combine.

2. Add dressing to taste and mix well to coat salad well.

3. Top with pistachios and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Serves 4. Any leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

This recipe is from Organic Avenue: Recipes for Life, Made with LOVE* by Denise Mari