Rye Tavern Sunflower Salad

You can plate this salad in minutes, if you’ve made the components—roasted beets, pickled onions, and chimichurri vinaigrette—ahead.

  • 1 pound beets
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 10 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound red onions, halved and sliced very thinly
  • 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup spinach, packed
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups sunflower shoots (one 4-ounce package)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled

To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and dice the beets, putting a cubic inch aside to color the pickled onions. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, a minced clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; pour over the beets and toss. Lay them out on a baking tray and roast until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the pickled onions, put the rice wine vinegar, ½ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and the set-aside piece of beet in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, add the onions, and let stand until cool.

For the vinaigrette, place the parsley, cilantro, spinach, remaining garlic, shallot, jalapeno, citrus, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a blender or food processor and process smooth.

To assemble the salad, toss together the beets, sunflower sprouts and seeds, and cranberries. Add dressing to taste. Plate mixture and top with feta and pickled onions.

Serves 4.

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