Grilled Asparagus, Balsamic Beet and Grapefruit Mixed Green Salad

 

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We’ve definitely entered into the salad days of summer. And northern Colorado has been hot, hot hot. I’ll bet it has been where you are too… though today begins in a gray, overcast kind of way, and that feels mighty refreshing.

I created this salad, actually, back in March – in a spring kind of revelry, and with my world in tilt-a-whirl mode at the time – preparing to move and all that goes along with it – I neglected to share what is righteously an incredible combination of freshness for you.
So here it is. There are a couple of steps where heat is involved along the way to preparing, but it’ll be worth it, I promise. If you’ve been following this blog awhile, you might remember my honey balsamic pickled beets recipe, creating “unexpected beet conversions”… It’s so easy, and everyone’s favorite pickled beet once they’ve tried them. 🙂

Grilled Asparagus, Balsamic Beet and Grapefruit Mixed Green Salad

How many people are you feeding? Tailor your ingredient amounts for them.

  • your favorite salad greens, a couple of handfuls per salad
  • pink grapefruit (choose organic, and heavy in the hand – more heft when you lift and compare – these will be juicy and wonderful) 1/2 to 2/3 a cup per
  • asparagus – check the tips for freshness – 5-6 spears a salad
  • a fruity olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • minced fresh chives
  • red beets (see recipe below, and alter at will)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • cooked garbanzo beans (I use organic canned) 1/2 a cup or so per salad

Here’s my recipe for the best ever pickled beets (check link for full post). Make less if you want – these are so great to open up in the middle of winter though!

  • 6-7 cups quartered small to medium beets
  • water
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar – approximately
  • 1/2 c. honey

To your pot of clean (to peel or leave unpeeled, this I leave to you, as for me, I scrub them and cut off the ends) quartered beets, add water to cover and boil until just tender, letting the water reduce as it boils. Do not drain. Add in a good 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar, and about the same of honey. Lower heat and simmer 7-10 minutes more. Taste a beet. Have the flavors permeated it? If so, either ladle into sterilized jars and seal, then boil in water bath for 10 minutes, or, ladle into jars and simply cool to keep in the refrigerator. I had beets last this way throughout the winter, though I recommend the hot water bath to you.

Back to constructing the salad:

Wash and trim woody ends from your asparagus, set in a wide shallow bowl or a large plate and drizzle with olive oil, turn with your hands to cover.Salt and pepper, and add a tablespoon or two of fresh chives. Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill and grill asparagus while you are assembling the salads – let it brown up a little bit until just tender – then set aside. Add garbanzo beans to the olive oil marinade and lightly stir.

With a sharp knife, peel and “supreme” grapefruit. “Supreme” is a term for segmenting citrus sections, cutting away the membrane as you do so. After the grapefruit is peeled (with a knife rather than by hand)- cut both ends off, then set on cutting board and follow the curve of the grapefruit with your knife, cutting peel off all around. Then, as close to each membrane as possible, cut inwards toward the center of the grapefruit, following the curves to the center core. Voila! The grapefruit supremes fall out in glistening glory. If you like, cut each section in half. Scrape the collected juice from the cutting board into the bowl with garbanzo beans and combine with the olive oil, making a light dressing.

For every plate, a couple good handfuls of salad greens as the base. Scatter grapefruit and balsamic beets, arrange grilled asparagus, then garbanzo beans over the top. Drizzle with grapefruit olive oil dressing. As always, serve with a scrumptious smile.

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