Last week, I spent a few inspiring days exploring the desert town of Joshua Tree, California with our team. We were there to capture some local interview subjects for the site, but we also made time for hiking the national park, exploring the charming town, and most importantly—eating all the glorious California produce that’s especially showy this time of year, from buttery avocados to zesty citrus fruit to the sweetest dates I’ve ever tasted. Yes, we will be sharing our Joshua Tree guide with you guys soon (along with the amazing stories we shot), but for now—meet this Golden Beet, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas.
This salad was quite simply inspired by California sunshine. When I created it, I was daydreaming about that feeling you get when you’re on vacation and spend the whole day outside, then come in and make dinner barefoot in a swimsuit and cutoffs. I’ve been buying golden beets every week at the market lately—not only are they less likely to stain than their red counterparts, I also just prefer the sweeter, milder flavor of the golden variety. I love these sunset shades of citrus with the 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 perfectly golden grapefruit and avocado salad comes together.
First, roast the beets
This step is part of my usual weekend meal prep—since beets take a long time to roast, I like to knock it out right when I get home from the grocery store so that they’re ready when I need them. Here’s how to perfectly roast beets:
- First, scrub the beets to remove any dirt, and trim the stems and root end. Wrap the entire bunch of beets in a foil packet, then roast at 450 degrees for about an hour. Cook time will vary depending on how large the beets are—you’ll know they’re done when you can easily slide a knife into the center of the beets.
- Remove the beets from the oven, let them cool, then use a paper towel to rub the skin off the outside of the beets. That’s it! Now you can either slice these beets to use in your salad, or you can keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Next, make your crispy roast chickpeas
Crispy roasted chickpeas are such a delicious salad topper and snack to have on hand, and they couldn’t be easier to make. I rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, then place in a towel to vigorously rub some of the chickpea skins off—don’t worry, you don’t have to get them all.
- Pour the chickpeas onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with a teaspoon of chili powder and a few shakes of garlic salt. Spread in an even layer, and bake for about 45 minutes until they’re crispy. Shake the pan once or twice during cooking time.
- Allow the crispy chickpeas to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the grapefruit
I’m not a big fan of carefully segmenting citrus fruit—I don’t mind a little white pith, so here’s my preferred way of slicing any citrus for a salad:
- Slice the skin from each end of the grapefruit so you can hold it steady on your cutting board. Then, use a paring knife to remove the peel in strips all around the fruit. Again, it’s fine if you don’t get every little bit of pith off the fruit.
- Rotate the grapefruit on its side, and slice into circles. You can either leave them as big wheels, or slice the wheels in half if you’d like the pieces to be a bit smaller.
Finally, make the Golden Turmeric & Honey dressing
To a blender, add the following:
- Couple cloves garlic
- piece of peeled ginger
- Olive oil
- Zest and juice of a lime
- Ground turmeric
- Rice vinegar
Blend it up, add salt and pepper to taste, and store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to a week. This dressing is one of my favorites—it’s super versatile, and the sweetness from the honey plus the warmth of the spices makes it addictive to pour over just about anything.
Tips for success
Prep components in advance
I love to make this salad for a gathering because it’s so easy to pre-prep all your individual ingredients and store them in the fridge, then simply assemble and arrange them on a big platter when you’re ready to eat. It’s one of those dishes that feels absolutely effortless, but packs a flavorful punch and is a feast for the visual senses as well.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers keep pretty well, however I’d recommend removing the avocado before storing since it’ll brown in the fridge. If you want to rework 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 luscious grapefruit and avocado salad that I’ll be making all summer.