Last week I spent a few inspiring days exploring the desert town of Joshua Tree, California with our team. We were there to pick up some local interviewees for the site, but also made time to hike the national park, explore the charming town, and most importantly – eat all the wonderful California produce that’s especially flavorful this time of year, from the butter avocado to enthusiasm citrus fruits The sweetest fruit dates I’ve ever tasted it. Yes, we’ll be sharing our Joshua Tree guide with you soon (along with the amazing stories we’ve filmed), but for now — check out our Golden Beet, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas.
This salad was inspired by the California sunshine. When I created it, I was dreaming about that feeling you get when you’re on vacation and you spend the whole day outside, and then you come and make dinner barefoot in your swimsuit and cut-offs. I’ve been buying Golden beets every week at the market lately—not only are they less prone to tarnishing than their red counterparts, I also prefer the sweeter, milder flavor of the Golden variety. I love sunset shades of citrus with golden beets, and it was a no-brainer to add fat chunks of avocado as a rich counterpoint to all this fresh produce. Scroll on to see how this golden grapefruit and avocado salad comes together.
First, hummus the beets
This step is part of the usual Weekend meal prep– Since beets take a long time to roast, I like to toss them right in when I get home from the grocery store so they’re ready when I need them. Here’s how to perfectly roast beets:
- First, scrub the beets to remove any dirt and snip off the stems and root end. Wrap the entire bundle of beets in a foil bag, then roast at 450 degrees for about an hour. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beets – you’ll know they’re done when you can easily insert a knife into the center of the beets.
- Remove the beets from the oven, let them cool, and then use a paper towel to rub the skin off the outside of the beets. That’s it! You can now slice these beets to use in your salad, or you can keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.
Next, make the crispy roasted chickpeas
Crunchy roasted chickpeas are a delicious salad topper and handy snack, and they couldn’t be easier to make. I rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, then put them in a washcloth to vigorously rub some of the chickpea skins—don’t worry, you don’t have to get them all in.
- Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with 1 teaspoon chili powder and a few dashes of garlic salt. Spread in an even layer, and bake for 45 minutes, until crispy. Shake the pan once or twice during the cooking time.
- Allow the crispy chickpeas to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Meanwhile, peel the grapefruit and cut it into slices
I’m not a big fan of carefully slicing citruses—I don’t mind getting a little white pulp, so here’s my favorite way to chop any citrus for a salad:
- Snip the peel off each end of the grapefruit so you can flatten it onto a cutting board. Next, use a paring knife to remove the skin all over the fruit. Again, it’s okay if you don’t get all the pulp out of the fruit.
- Turn the grapefruit on its side, and cut it into circles. You can either leave them as large wheels, or cut the wheels in half if you’d like the pieces to be a little smaller.
Finally, make the golden turmeric-honey sauce
To the blender, add the following:
- A couple of garlic
- Peeled piece of ginger
- olive oil
- Lemon zest and juice
- ground turmeric
- rice vinegar
Mix, add salt and pepper to taste, and store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. This sauce is one of my favorites—it’s so versatile, and the sweetness from the honey plus the warmth of the spices makes pouring just about anything addictive.
Tips for success
Prep ingredients in advance
I love making this salad for a get-together because it’s so easy to prepare all of your individual ingredients in advance and store them in the fridge, then assemble and arrange on a large platter when you’re ready to eat. It’s one of those dishes that looks absolutely effortless, but packs a delicious flavor and is a feast for the visual senses, too.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers keep just fine, but I recommend removing the avocados before storing them as they will brown in the fridge. If you want to remake this for lunch the next day, just add some fresh avocado chunks when you’re ready to eat.
Scroll on for the recipe for this delicious grapefruit and avocado salad I’ll be making all summer long.