Today, Dustin and I took a quick trip to our local farmers market. It’s held every Sunday in this really cute little downtown area just a few miles away so we try to make a little date out of it at least a few times a month. It’s such a great opportunity to grab some coffee and take a little stroll, while supporting local farms/businesses and of course, picking up most of our veggies for the week! Among this weeks haul (I tend to get excited at these things and go overboard), was a beautiful bunch of beets and some fresh arugula. If that doesn’t say salad, then I don’t know what does! I know what you’re thinking, “salad? It’s winter!” but to me, there’s something so poetic about a winter salad—so wrong but so right in all of the best possible ways (plus we’re on a diet, soooo yeah).
In all honesty, beets used to be one of the few foods I wouldn’t touch. Slimy, earthy, lumpy, bright purple, NO THANKS! But then, something strange happened: I tried them roasted to perfection and tossed in a salad and I thought to myself, “I guess this is what adulting tastes like”. Anyway, moral of the story: I am now a fan and they frequent our dinner table on a regular basis (in the form of a salad, of course).
I love this dish because not only is it absolutely packed with nutrients and super tasty, but its so simple and easy, it’s not even funny! This salad makes for a wonderful side dish, a yummy quick lunch, or even a hearty entrée if you want to add some grilled chicken or something (or not, whatever floats your boat). Nonetheless, the hearty texture and earthy flavor of the roasted beets, the creamy richness of the goat cheese, the slight spice of the arugula, the crunch of the walnuts, and the sweet tang of the balsamic, all work together to make this salad an absolute favorite in our house!
What You Need
For the Beets:
- 2-3 medium sized beets (depending on how much you want to make)
- 2 (ish) tbsp olive oil
For the Salad:
- 16 ounces of arugula
- Goat cheese (as much desired)
- Chopped walnuts or pecans (again, as much desired)
- 1 (ish) tbsp olive oil
- 1 (ish) tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Let’s Get Cooking
For the Beets:
- Preheat your oven to 400 F
- Chop off the long greens attached to your beets leaving just a bit of a stem at the end and scrub your beets thoroughly.
- Drizzle beets with olive oil and wrap each beet individually in tin foil.
- Place wrapped beets in come kind of a baking dish to catch any drippings (bright purple, sticky goo = not fun to clean up) and roast for approximately 50-60 mins, checking them every 20 or so. Should they start to look like they’re scorching or drying out, you can pour a small amount of water over each one before rewrapping them and putting them back in the oven. Beets are done when a fork slides easily to the middle of the beet. Note: cooking time may vary based on the size of the beet, so keep an eye on them.
- When beets are done roasting and are at desired tenderness, let them cool long enough to where they are comfortable to handle and begin pushing at the skin to peel them. The skin should basically just slide away fairly easily. You can also chop off any remaining portion of stem that may still be attached to your beets
- Beets can be stored whole or sliced for up to a week in a container in the fridge.
For the Salad:
- Over a bed of arugula (you can also use any other greens you like), lay your desired amount of roasted beets for your salad.
- Top arugula and beets with goat cheese, walnuts, salt, and pepper to taste (again, you may add any other toppings such as additional veggies, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc.—I’m just a simple kind of gal).
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
Note: You’ll notice that my measurements aren’t very precise for this recipe, but it’s a salad so who needs precision! But really, its honestly up to personal taste so go wild, or don’t! Totally up to you.
Tried the dish? Let me know what you think in the comments!