This VEGAN POWER SALAD- with fresh grated beets, avocado, power greens, sprouts, quick pickled shallots and toasted pumpkin seeds is tossed with a Cashew Basil Pesto, then drizzled with Cashew Tahini Sauce which acts like cheese, rich and flavorful. It was inspired by a very similar dish we had in Ojai, California at an enchanting little restaurant called Food Harmonics. I was so pleasantly surprised to stumble in this gem of a place and their lovely outdoor patio- and enjoyed this salad tremendously. I think you will too.
Note, the salad has two dressings. You need both. 😉
So please make this on a day you have a little extra time and you are not feeling rushed – mind you, it only takes about 30 minutes, it’s really not bad. The first dressing is a Cashew Tahini Dressing. The second one is a Cashew Basil Pesto. They work together….the Cashew Pesto lightly dresses the power greens and the Cashew Tahini acts like flavorful “cheese” over the top for added richness, turning this an entrée salad. When tomatoes are in season, please add them, they are a nice touch. Food Harmonics also added fresh kraut to the salad giving it a nice acid and a boost of probiotics.
Here are the two dressings- Cashew Tahini and Cashew Basil Pesto which both can be made in the blender. The dressings make enough for 6 salads. Save any extras for Buddha Bowls, soups, wraps or even roasted veggies. I promise they won’t go to waste.
Quick Pickled shallots (or red onion) add a nice acidity. Or sub sauerkraut.
Fresh grated beets are added to salad- so there is no cooking involved. Some of you lucky ones out there have upscale markets that actually sell fresh grated beets in the produce section, or in the salad bar- a much simpler and less messy solution. Or peel and grate at home.
Toss the greens with just enough pesto to lightly coat. Toss in the shallots or kraut. Divide among two bowls and top the fresh grated beets.
Add sliced avocado, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds, finishing with a little Cashew Tahini.
- Pickled Shallots ( or substitue sauerkraut)
- 1 large shallot- thinly sliced ( or sub ¼ cup red onion)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Cashew Tahini Dressing
- ½ cup water
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar or
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauceor Liquid Aminos
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- Cashew Pesto
- ⅓-½ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup packed basil leaves or sub Italian parsley or mix of both
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( or AC vinegar)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cashews
- SALAD - SERVES 2
- 4 ounces power greens
- 1 medium beet, peeled and grated
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- cherry tomatoes- optional
- optional additions- sprouts, chicken breast, baked tofu, chickpeas, grated carrots
- Place shallot, vinegar, water, salt, sugar in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a simmer for a couple minutes, then set aside and let cool, or refrigerate.
- Make Cashew Tahini Dressing. Place water, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and salt in a blender. Blend. Add cashews and blend until very very smooth. It should be thick and smooth.
- Scrape blender clean, setting Cashew Tahini aside in a small bowl.
- Rinse Blender, then make Cashew Pesto. Place olive oil, garlic, basil, lemon, salt in the blender. Pulse a few times. Then add cashews and continue pulsing until chopped and blended, but not too smooth. Taste for salt, add more if necessary. Set aside, and assemble salads.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss power greens lightly with the pesto, using a few tablespoons, to just lightly dress ( you won't use all). Add some pickled shallots or ½ cup sauerkraut , toss and divide among two large bowls. Top dressed greens with grated beets and avocado slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with cashew tahini, more pesto if you like and scatter with pumpkin seeds.
- Notes: Salad serves 2 as mains, dressing serves 6.