Carrot and Beet Salad

Sometimes you make up a dish with whatever you have on hand and it turns out more attractive and tastier than you had any reason to expect.  My sister C is visiting from Florida, and she, her three kids, and my mom came over last night for pizza.  It was Auntie C’s first time meeting the twins.

Auntie C is a little bit happy to meet her niece and nephew.  Photo credit: my mom, S.

I wanted to throw together a salad, but the baby spinach I was counting on was well past its prime.

I used one of my favorite kitchen tools, the mandoline, to slice up some carrots and (precooked and vacuum-packed) beets, drizzled with a balsamic glaze I’d forgotten was in the cupboard, and sprinkled some crumbled goat cheese and sunflower seeds on top. Look how pretty!

I realized when cleaning up dinner that I had some fresh thyme hanging out in the fridge, which would have been a nice addition to this dish.  If balsamic isn’t your jam (or, in this case, glaze), you could use lemon juice instead.  A lot of nuts could work in place of the sunflower seeds.  I think if I ever actually planned to make this, I might choose pistachios.  Yum.

You might notice, in the second photo above, that the bottle of balsamic glaze is sharpied with yesterday’s date.  I try to remember to date containers of things — spices, salsa, pretty much anything that comes in a jar — when I open them.  That way, D and I can make informed judgments about whether to dispose of stuff weeks or months (or, ahem, years) later.

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