Target Health Blog

Asparagus Beet Salad with Citrus & Toasted Walnuts


Follow what's in season and you can't go wrong. Right now, asparagus and citrus are delicious, so I've combined both in (if I do say so myself) a delicious salad to share with you. Plus, aren't the colors lovely? ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Three unsung heroes in my salad recipe, because they're practically invisible, are the toasted black mustard seeds, the capers and the anchovies. If you remove any of them, the flavor will not be the same (especially without the anchovies). Btw, the beautiful pink citrus in the photo is a Cara Cara orange. They're beautiful in any recipe and delicious.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
The small shipment of edible flowers, from my last new dessert recipe, lasted in our very cold fridge, so I'm using them in this new recipe, for your pleasure and ours. These nasturtiums are grown and eaten around the world. Edible flowers always add a special touch to any recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
The citrus segment you see in this photo is from a Blood orange. They are the deepest red of any citrus. I will have to create a special cocktail, using them and naming it after them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Re: the woody, inedible bottom of an asparagus stalk: Some people like to cut it off. I like to snap it off. I really like the sound when it snaps off, usually in just the right spot. There's no rule here, about how to do it. Do what you like. The important thing is to remove that bottom, unchewable part of the asparagus, before you eat it and/or use it in a recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes

1 box arugula, rinsed twice, dried with paper towels

3 yellow beets, roasted, then cut in cubes

6 fat asparagus, cut in thirds

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, then chopped

1/2 Clementine, 1/2 Cara Cara orange, 1/2 Blood Orange: in segments or circles

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped well

Garnish: edible flowers, like nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus, violets,


1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds, toasted

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped very well

10 garlic cloves, crushed

Zest of 2 fresh lemons

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

10 anchovy fillets

2 Tablespoon capers

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley,

1 pinch black Pepper

2 Pinches chili flakes

Here are most of the ingredients, easy to come by. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. In a mortar & pestle, grind all the garlic cloves and anchovies into a paste.
  2. Toast the black mustard seeds in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. In a small saute pan, heat a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, the paste of anchovy & garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and over a very low flame until mixture starts to show some small bubbles. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
Here, over a low flame, the anchovy/garlic paste has been added and is simmering, with an occasional stir. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

4. Add capers, thyme and parsley, stir and simmer a minute longer.

Capers thyme and cilantro added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Add black pepper, toasted mustard seeds and chili flakes stir well.
  2. Use a spatula to get all the dressing out of the pan.
  3. Pour into a dressing container with a spout and set aside to cool down. Serve on salad later.

Use a large glass salad bowl so all the colors can be seen, through the glass.

Prepare the salad ingredients

    Wrap golden beets in foil and roast in oven at 350 to 375 degrees for about an hour. While wearing an oven glove, pinch slightly to feel if they're done. You don't want them to be mushy. When done, open foil and put beets on plate to cool down. Then cut into cubes.
Roasted Golden beets are coming out of the oven. Have an ice bath ready to plunge them into, right out of the oven. If you do this, the skins will slide off more easily. (careful not to burn yourself - wear oven mitts). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Skins are off, beets have cooled down. Now ready to cube. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Beets are cubed and/or cut. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Rinse the greens twice, drain, then pat dry with paper towels.
Beautiful green arugula, washed twice, drained, about to be patted dry with paper towels. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Asparagus is still in season, so you can eat it raw. However, if you want to cook just a bit, put the 6 stalks in oven with the beets. But take asparagus out after roasting for 2 or 3 minutes. Cut each stalk into thirds.
One of the great Spring arrivals, tender local asparagus. Each Spring, awaiting them, I try to create a new recipe either featuring asparagus or including them as one of the ingredients in a new recipe. One of the small pleasures in life. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Toast the walnuts in a teaspoon of olive oil. When done, put on small plate covered with paper towel so oil can drain off. Then chop them and set aside.
This favorite tiny pan was made for this step in my recipe, toasting the walnuts. Everyone should have a tiny pan like this one. As you can see from the handle, it's been used a great deal. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
After toasting and draining the walnuts, chop them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Peel skin off whatever citrus you plan to use. Then carefully slice from bottom to top, so you get colorful circles. If you slice from side to side, you won't get circles, which are pretty in this salad. Or just pull the segments apart, as you see below in the photo, and use them as is, or cut in half. You decide.
Citrus is in season now, so many varieties of oranges should be available everywhere. Above are the colorful Blood oranges. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Once all salad ingredients are prepared, put them into salad bowl and toss so that all the colors are evenly distributed.
As you put the ingredients together, notice how beautiful all the colors are. For me, color is a part of the recipe, and of the entire meal. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Voila ! Couldn't be more lovely; and did we say, “Delish!“ Edible flowers still have to be added, just before serving. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
  1. Just before serving, garnish the top with edible flowers or make a design with the citrus circles.
This salad recipe turned out so well, it's good enough to serve for dinner with some good icy Pouilly-Fuisse and warm baguettes with French or Irish butter (or no butter). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Jules gives my recipe five stars. (makes my day). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Here's that icy Pouilly -Fuisse. We're stuck on Louis Jadot. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

From Our Table to Yours

Have a Great Week Everyone!

Bon Appetit!

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