I recently learned that I like beets through a salad bar at my local grocery store. Before then, I found them bitter and dirty-tasting — but that’s because I didn’t know YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO PEEL THEM before eating. Once I figured that out, a whole new world opened up for me, one in which I am a bit of a beet junkie.
Beet salads are great because you can make a big ol’ batch and let it hang out in the fridge, all dressed up, for a week (just remember to hold the goat cheese and nuts though, adding them per serving). You can’t let greens hang out in the fridge all dressed, in contrast, because of the wilting thing. Beet salads are pretty great lazy-people food.
Because beets are so sweet, they contrast well with just about every other flavor. This salad is salty, sweet, and tangy and also looks pretty cool, am I right?
- 4 large beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil (or 1 clove of minced garlic + olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 3/4 cup candied walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over beets and toss to coat in iron skillet. Roast beets at 400 degrees F until they are fork-tender, about 40-60 minutes. Pull out and let cool while you prepare the dressing.
- In a salad bowl, add in 1/3 cup of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey. Whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss in warm beets and shallots, letting the heat from the beets wilt the shallots a little.
- Top with large pieces of goat cheese and sprinkle on walnuts. Can be eaten warm or cold.
Double duty: roasting beets along with roasting a spatchcocked chicken.
I like roasting beets over boiling them (even though boiling is a tad faster) because the sugars caramelize and the flavor concentrates. I feel like the beet-flavor gets a little bit diluted and leeched out in boiling water.
If you’re making this salad head of time, hold the cheese and nuts back until it’s serving time, otherwise the goat cheese will become stained with beet juice and won’t look or taste appetizing. The sugar coating on the candied nuts will dissolve and the nuts will be sad because of it.