This week’s recipe is one of my favorite salads to eat during the spring and summer months. Whether I order it off a menu or I make my own at home, this salad packs color, flavor, and is a refreshing transition to the heavy comfort foods we’ve enjoyed the past 5 months. Though beets are typically considered a winter vegetable around the world, they can be found and enjoyed all year round in most markets. Their nutritional value is an extra bonus to their vibrant color and yummy flavor. Cooked until tender, the beets are tossed with dark greens and coated in a mild balsamic vinaigrette. Heirloom tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and local Utah goat cheese (found at any Harmons grocery store) are the perfect toppings to complement the beets. This salad is light, healthy, and simply delicious on any spring/summer afternoon.
- 6-8 medium sized beets, cleaned
- ¼ cup good balsamic vinegar
- ½ shallot, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1/3 cup fruity olive oil
- 4 ounces arugula (or dark spring greens)
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tops from the beets and individually wrap in tinfoil. Place beets, top side down, in a baking dish or sheet pan. Roast until tender or until a sharp knife can easily pierce through the middle of each beet, 50-60 minutes (each size may vary).
- Remove from oven and slightly cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the tinfoil and skin from each beet. This step can be messy. Use a paring knife and gloves to remove the skin, and be careful not to stain your countertops or cutting boards. Once peeled, cut each beet into bite size wedges and set aside.
- Whisk balsamic vinegar, shallots, and honey in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture and continue to whisk until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the warm beets and arugula with enough vinaigrette to coat, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange beets and arugula on a plate, top with tomato slices, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese crumbles (if needed, drizzle more vinaigrette over the top). Enjoy!
Note: Beets soak up more vinaigrette and flavor when warm. Do not to cool completely before tossing them in vinaigrette.