Candy Beet Carpaccio Salad

BeetSaladI was researching recipes for beets one day and came across several for Beet Carpaccio.  That is what inspired this salad.  The term Carpaccio is used for any preparation made with thinly sliced raw meat, fish, vegetables or fruit which are usually seasoned with lemon, or vinegar, olive oil, salt and ground pepper.  In this salad, I lightly steamed the beets with the skin on.

1 red leaf lettuce, chopped
4-5 thin slices of red onion
3 kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1-2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 candy striped beets, sliced in thin rounds
large handful of strawberries, thinly sliced
2 avocados, diced
4 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
candied walnuts or pecans (optional)

Dressing:
fresh squeezed lemon and/or lime juice, 1/4 cup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T water
1 T salt-free herbs (Trader Joes/Fresh & Easy)
1 T Agave nectar or honey
1 clove of garlic or 2 tsp minced shallots

Slice the beets using a mandolin slicer between 1/16″ and 1/8″ and layer in a steamer basket.  Steam beets for about 5 minutes, just until tender.  I used the slicer for the onions, cucumbers and celery too.  Assemble salad ingredients on plates or in salad bowl in the order listed.  Remove beets from steamer and cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, just long enough so that they are not hot.  Top salad greens with beets, strawberries, avocado, goat cheese and nuts.

Blend dressing in blender or food processor and serve with salad.