in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

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)  frustrated.

I am sure this sounds familiar to many of you, as no matter what those passionate endeavours 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 fill 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 🙂

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 into 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.

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 to 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 frittata. With amazing bread too of course 🙂 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!

28 responses to “Colorful Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad

  1. 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. 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. i’ve never had beet raw in a salad. i must try it. once again, gorgeous salad 😉

    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.

  4. 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. 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 🙂

  5. 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. 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 🙂 Enjoy!

    1. 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. 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 🙂 if not then hubbs has to come up with ideas for me:)

    1. Richa! You are so right about spouses and how helpful they can be 🙂 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. 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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