Star Spangled Salad

June 28th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Aside from Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I wait all year long for the July issue of Martha Stewart Living to come out, eager to flip through the pages for festive table decor ideas, summery recipes, and gorgeous photographs. Independence Day seems to encapsulate the spirit of summer in one fun-filled day, and I can’t help myself from joining in on the action every year.

Nothing says summer like firing up the grill. And with every good burger, steak, or marinated chicken breast goes a nutritious salad. In the patriotic spirit of the season, I made this Star Spangled Salad over the weekend featuring some adorable beet stars that are actually super simple to make! The beets slice up perfectly when they’re raw, so there’s no steaming or roasting required. They add color, crunch, and whimsy to the salad. I just might make them all summer long.

As we celebrate our nation’s freedom and rejoice in our liberty in the coming week, here are a few more festive recipes you might enjoy for the holiday:


Star Spangled Salad

For the salad you see pictured above, I used mixed lettuces from the farmers’ market, sugar snap peas, shallots, raisins, blueberries, and toasted slivered almonds. Anything goes here. Use whatever you like and can find locally, if possible.

Your favorite salad ingredients to serve as many as you’d like, such as:

  • Mixed greens or baby spinach
  • Chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, shallots, or snap peas
  • Raisins, chopped pitted dates, or dried cranberries
  • Toasted almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds


1 medium to large red beet, peeled and thinly sliced

Your favorite salad dressing (homemade is always better!), to serve


Toss all of your salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.

Use a sharp star cookie cutter to cut stars out of the beet slices. If you don’t have one or can’t find yours (ahem…like me), trace a star onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and cut it out. Place the template on the beet slices and use a sharp paring knife to cut around the template and form the star.

Arrange the stars atop your salad mixture. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Find more healthy recipes at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and patriotic cooking inspiration at The Spunky Coconut’s “Our Spunky Holiday” event.


  1. This is the prettiest, most patriotic, yummy-looking salad ever! I have no idea yet if we have plans for the 4th, but if so, I’m totally making this salad! Might just make it for myself anyway.

  2. I LOVE this! I’m a beet girl from the get-go, but it never dawned on me to make cute little beet cut-outs. Wow, the potential is endless. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I love the star-shaped beets!

  4. Gorgeous salad and I especially love the beet stars!

  5. Oh, how cool, Hallie! This is a great way to be patriotic and eat well, too! :-)

    Have a wonderful 4th, dear. :-)


  6. All I can say is that those star shaped beets are absolutely….BRILLIANT!~!! I totally mean it! We are now making this salad for the 4th! It will be a total hit!

  7. Thanks, everyone! The stars are awfully cute. They’d also make a pretty garnish at Christmas-time atop a kale and cranberry salad, don’t you think? Maybe little candy cane or bell shapes…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just get through July 4th first! :)

  8. No cookie cutter? Draw design on a piece of plastic ( plastic lid, plastic from pkg of bacon) and cut out. This will be more stable than paper.

  9. I really do like this salad idea with beet stars.

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