Spinach Salad Nicoise With Golden Beets

Serves 6

2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, minced

4 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Sea salt and white pepper to taste

4 medium golden beets, peeled and quartered

2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch long pieces

8 cups baby spinach, loosely packed

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered

8 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)

1/2 cup pitted Nicoise olives

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Whisk in olive oil, shallots, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place beets in half of a stainless steel steamer or on the lower level of a bamboo steamer. Place green beans in the other half of the stainless steamer, or on the top level of the bamboo steamer. Steam over boiling water for 5 minutes.
3. Remove beans, leaving beets in steamer. Plunge beans into a bowl of cold water; drain and pat dry.
4. Cook beets for 5 minutes longer, or until tender; remove, plunge into a bowl of cold water, drain, and pat dry.
5. In a large bowl, toss spinach and basil. Drizzle with just enough dressing to lightly coat leaves; toss, and arrange on a serving platter.
6. In separate bowls, toss beans and beets with just enough dressing to lightly coat, and arrange over salad. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Arrange eggs around outside edge of platter.
7. Arrange anchovies (if using) over salad. Scatter olives and nuts atop salad. Serve immediately, with additional dressing on the side.

nutrition info per serving: 287 calories; 23 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 141 mg cholesterol; 9 g protein; 5 g fiber; 233 mg sodium