Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
With a sweet, earthy flavor, juicy texture, and beautiful ruby-red hue, beets make a salad into something sensational. The key to making them the highlight of a simple yet elegant salad is roasting, making the beets juicy and tender with a concentrated sweetness. Peeling is easier when the beets are still warm. Also, tossing the sliced beets with the dressing while they’re warm is a must. This allows them to absorb maximum flavor. Goat cheese, baby arugula, and toasted pistachios round out the dish, adding tang, peppery notes, and nuttiness. These flavors help to balance the beets’ sweetness. It’s important to look for bunches that contain beets of similar size so that the beets will roast evenly. If the beets are different sizes, remove the smaller ones from the oven as they become tender. You can use red or golden beets in this recipe, or a mix of both.
I have to share that Farmguy is not a fan of beets; however, during dinner, he mentioned–at least twice, that this salad was “really good.” So, if you don’t exactly love beets, you may still want to give this recipe a try. After all, I happen to agree with Farmguy. This salad is at the very least–really good, if not fabulous!
We enjoyed the roasted beet and goat cheese salad with a Spanish wine from Catalonia called Parés Balta Mas Petit (Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnatxa–$15). It paired well by complimenting the peppery arugula, nutty beets, and the creaminess of the goat cheese.
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese:
*Use organic ingredients when possible
2 pounds beets, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
2 ounces (2 cups) of arugula
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted
–Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and place on rimmed baking sheet. Roast beets until skewer inserted in center meets little resistance (you will need to unwrap beets to test them), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
–Remove beets from oven and carefully open foil packets. When beets are cool enough to handle, carefully rub off skins using paper towel. Slice beets into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, and, if large, cut in half crosswise.
–Whisk oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add beets, toss to coat, and let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Add arugula and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to platter, sprinkle with goat cheese and pistachios, and serve.