This salad was inspired by my CSA. I had two weeks worth of beets and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I’ve had beets a couple of times, but didn’t think I was a big fan of them. They tend to be rather sweet, which is a little off-putting to me. However, this salad totally changes my mind about beets. The combination of flavors in this salad is fantastic. The acid of the balsamic pairs really nicely with the sweet beets. Tangy goat cheese adds creamy texture to contrast the crunchy pecans and crisp greens. I served this over a combination of arugula from the CSA and spinach (or lettuce greens from the CSA the next night). The arugula from the CSA was more full-grown than what you’d normally find at the grocery store, so it was really spicy on it’s own, but goes so nicely with the creamy goat cheese and slightly sweet beets.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
- 8 small beets, tops removed (save them for later) and scrubbed
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups arugula
- 9 cups spinach or green lettuce
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 cups pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil. As the oven is pre-heating you can toast the pecans, they’ll be nice and toasted by the time the oven gets to 350–or when you can smell their delicious nutty flavor. Roast the beets for about 50-60 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the center comes out easily. Open each foil packet and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
While the beets cool, whisk together the balsamic, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them (discarding the skins into the foil, the beets will stain, so avoid putting them on anything porous, like a cutting board or most countertops). Slice the beets in half and then each half into 4 wedges. Pour about 1/2 the dressing onto the beets and set aside.
To assemble the salads, place 1 1/2 cups of spinach onto plates, top with a 1/2 cup of arugula, then sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and pecans. Top the salads with the beets and more dressing to taste.