Colorful Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad

I had a great conversation the other day with a good creative friend of mine. This person is a songwriter, and music is a passion – I should say a fairly prominent and driving passion in this person’s life. As with all creative folks from time to time, my dear friend is currently struggling with a writer’s block, a long and seemingly endless drought of inspiration, and is, as you can imagine, feeling sad and (just a little)Β  frustrated.

I am sure this sounds familiar to many of you, as no matter what those passionate endeavors are that we pursue to keep us sane, there are always times when the inspiration just doesn’t flow. When our ideas are tapped and we feel like we’ve lost it. When we are blank. I know it is true for me, as there are times when the only thing I can do is precisely what I advised my dearest pal to do: get out and live.

Whatever drives our passions or sets our hearts on fire, can only be stoked and kept thriving by the gentle prodding that is the rhythm of living, and of experience. Those times when we are empty just (IMO) means we are due for a rest. And after rest comes new experiences. New visions. New landscapes & new sounds & smells & tastes & feelings. New people in our lives. Whatever it is that we are called to experience & absorb & filter back out to the world with our own personal touch added. Those are the things that fill us back up, and give our minds things to process and our hearts new feelings to feel.

It is life, and living it to the best of our abilities that fills us up. I’d love to hear what you guys do to fuel up after a drought, as I’m always game to hear new ideas! And with that we are off on an adventure — our family is ducking out for the weekend to Oregon, where we’ll be hitting Portland for a few days followed by a visit to the coast and the beach. It’ll be short, but sometimes that’s all it takes. Looking forward to absorbing all this time has to offer.

Here is a simple yet delicious salad combo from our epic shared meal last week. Warning: it seems like the type of salad anyone could make, and it is. It just happens to be completely delicious too! Especially if you are a dill fan πŸ™‚

The Less:

Less standard boring salad fare means more exciting plant-based combos. Fewer complicated, blender required salad dressings means less clean up and simple preparation. Less bagged & pre-made ‘health’ foods means more care & love in each and every bowl, so folks don’t just taste the goods, but can feel the heart that went into it too.

The More:

More tasty fresh herbs means each dinner is a new adventure. More simple steps till dinner’s ready means food prep is never discouraging. More fresh colorful foods means more joy for your eyes and your taste buds, so taking advantage of the seasonal goodness brings happiness to your senses and your tummy as well.

Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad:
  • (1) head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn (or 2 giant handfuls of spring greens)
  • (1) beet, peeled & grated
  • (1/2) cup fresh dill, chopped
  • (1/2) cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • (1/2) cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • (1/2-1) cup cherry tomatoes, washed & halved
  • (1) recipe balsamic dressing
Balsamic Crema Dressing:
  • (1/4) cup olive oil
  • (1/4) cup balsamic crema
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (1) tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • black pepper as desired

First toast pumpkin seeds for 5 minutes in a pre-heated cast iron pan or in the oven at 350 degrees until fragrant and turning brown (they will start to pop and that is when they are done). Remove the seeds to a bowl to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

In a salad bowl, tear the lettuce in bite sized pieces and toss it all in. Layer the salad with the grated beets, dill, cherry tomatoes & feta. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl – this will be a wonderfully thick mixture from the use of balsamic crema – I highly recommend sourcing this as it is wonderful in this recipe (the small squeezy bottles of thick reduced balsamic – about 7-8$ in most stores). If you use balsamic vinegar instead, I suggest a tbsp of sugar or so to thicken and sweeten the dressing.

Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad

Sprinkle the salad with the pumpkin seeds once they are cool, reserving a few to use as a garnish. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing a separate mixing bowl to well coat the entire mixture. Transfer back into the serving bowl or serve on individual plates. Top with a little reserved dill and the pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

This recipe will serve 4-6 hungry folks depending on what else it is served with. We enjoyed it with the corn salad from the last post and a hearty veggie-loaded fritatta. With amazing bread too of course πŸ™‚ I am sure this would be just as epic with some of that tofu feta I’ve seen around the blog world and have yet to try.

All you adventurous vegan friends of mine I’d love to hear if you try it that way!

Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad

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ShiraColorful Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad

28 Comments on “Colorful Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad”

  1. This Sydney Life

    Hello lovely Shira! – I’ve never been to Portland, but I hear it is a creative hub. I’d love to visit. One day, perhaps.

    I feel like I’ve been in an inspiration drought for at least a couple of years and am only just starting to find my next path. I have no answers! Well, perhaps one – stay true to yourself.

    Have a great trip. I’m filing this lovely rainbow salad in my ‘recipes to try’ folder. Jx

  2. Susan

    I have all of these ingredients and want to make this now! But I have a silly question. Do you cook the beet…or grate it raw? I’ve never eaten a raw beet…

  3. Caitlin

    i’ve never had beet raw in a salad. i must try it. once again, gorgeous salad πŸ˜‰

    i can relate to your friend. although i’m not a songwriter, there are definitely times i get frustrated at certain “blocks” i get it. but, then suddenly there is inspiration and i’m lifted from the hole. it’s all about ebbs and flows for me.

    1. Shira

      Thanks Caitlin! Totally agree on the ebb and flow of creativity πŸ™‚ Love when the lift finally happens!

  4. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Hi Shira,
    Saw this salad on your instagram feed and had to come check it out. . totally going to make this! I love everything you have in here and I have been obsessed with pumpkin seeds and sunflower nuts. Love what you said here, “Whatever drives our passions or sets our hearts on fire, can only be stoked and kept thriving by the gentle prodding that is the rhythm of living, and of experience.” . .. how do I fuel up? running, talking walks. . getting outside and some fresh air. . sometimes that’s all you need to recharge, at least for me. Thanks for this lovely post and awesome salad! can’t wait to try it!

    1. Shira

      Thanks Alice! So happy to have you share with us! I am the same as you and find fresh air to be a godsend — couldn’t live without it!! So glad to have you by πŸ™‚

  5. Eileen

    What a great combination of flavors! I love raw beet but tend to forget about it for months on end for some reason. Must get back on the salad wagon!

    1. Shira

      Thanks Gabby! We had a great time! Balsamic ‘crema’ is the thicker squeezy stuff you can buy that is already reduced…most delis or Whole Foods will have it — genius! Sweet, but concentrated that a little goes a long way πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

    1. Shira

      Amazing Anna! I’ve always loved dill too and finally found a way to enjoy it in a lovely quantity — and I am with you, I LOVE the colors of this combo!

  6. Richa

    i love that much fresh dill in the salad. i can imagine the burst with every bite:)
    I dont know exactly how to get out of the funk. I just start to get very irritated and depressed, so i try to find something else to keep me busy, something completely different and usually while searching for something lse to do, things start to flow again πŸ™‚ if not then hubbs has to come up with ideas for me:)

    1. Shira

      Richa! You are so right about spouses and how helpful they can be πŸ™‚ I also love your thoughts about being busy… seems that action of any kind can always help us get back on track – we just never know when it will happen!

  7. danielle

    Delicious!made it a full meal: I added some just tender farmers market new potatoes and 3 boiled eggs, for protein. Both quartered.

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