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Beet, Celery and Arugula Salad With Brazil Nuts

This was an impromptu dish I made up as part of dinner and to clean out the fridge before leaving town. I hate waste and even more do I hate coming home after to a fridge full of rot. Waste is not sexy. This salad is. Imagine going on low-expectation e-date where the two of you wind up doing it in the back seat of a car — translate that into a warm salad, and that’s what this was — that kind of happy thrill, with a bold blush of beet, crunch of watermelon radish and Brazil nuts, creamy avocado, the lift of seasonal greens and the satiety of whole grains. It’s a salad born for adaptation — use whatever whole grains and greens and nuts you love. Bright to the eye, bright in the mouth with the most amazing array of textures and flavors, sweet, savory, tangy, creamy, crunchy, chewy, — held together barely dressed with a lemon, mustard and dill. For biggest flavor and texture reward, serve at room temperature, rather than icy cold from the fridge. The whole grains make it sturdy and enduring.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sherry or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped, plus additional for garnish, if desired
  • 1 cup millet sorghum or other whole grain, cooked and cooled
  • 3 cups shredded kale chard, spinach or arugula or other fine seasonal green
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado sliced
  • 2 watermelon radishes or 4 French breakfast radishes thinly sliced
  • 4 beets cooked and cooled, diced
  • 1/4 cup Brazil nuts chopped or other nuts of choice.
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, Dijon mustard, sherry or cider vinegar and agave or maple syrup until ingredients emulsify, about a minute. Add chopped dill and give another quick whisk. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together whole grains and shredded greens until fluffy and incorporated. Pour in a few tablespoons of the dressing and toss again. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Fill a bowl or a platter with the greens and grains. Channel your inner artist and scatter sliced avocado and radish, diced beets and chopped Brazil nuts on top. Drizzle on a little extra dressing, if desired.