Golden Beet Salad with Ginger-Cashew Vinaigrette

I created this salad, as I do with most of my recipes, using the random ingredients I have on hand and a lot of creativity. 

I made this recipe in a 12-cup food processor, but you could also do it with a mandolin slicer and a high-speed blender, as I used to do before I was given this amazing processor last week.  I have included directions for both methods.  The processor makes the prep work much easier, and leaves you with larger chunks of beet and carrot, but you do have to use three different blades which is annoying.  

1 large golden beet, about 2 cups, peeled
2 cups carrots or about 3 whole carrots, peeled
2 stalks organic celery
3 bulbs green onions, plus 2 stalks
3 tbs minced ginger or enough ginger pieces to fill 1/3 cup (I used two 1 inch pieces)
1/3 cup cashews
3 tbs raisins
juice from one large lemon
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs agave nectar
1/3 cup celery leaves, rough chop

Directions for Use with a Food Processor
Slice the beet and carrots with the medium-sized slicer attachment for your food processor.  Use the small dice blade for the green onions, and celery.  Pulse three times with the regular S-blade attachment.  Empty mixture into a large bowl.  Process the ginger and cashews until the cashews are diced.  Juice the lemon over the mixture, add red wine, agave, raisins, and celery leaves.  Stir and serve.

Directions for Use with a Slicer and Blender
Using a mandolin slicer, julienne the beet, carrots, and celery into a large bowl.  Dice the green onion and stalks and add to mixture.  In a blender, blend the lemon juice, ginger, cashews, red wine vinegar, and agave nectar until smooth.  Add to bowl.  Stir in chopped celery leaves and raisins.  Stir and serve.

Optional:  You could add 2 tbs tahini or 1/2 cup cashews to create a thicker, sweeter vinaigrette, but I thought the carrots and beets were plenty sweet on their own.  Alternatively, 2 tbs vegenaise would give it more of a pleasantly sour pucker, similar to coleslaw.


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