Who doesn’t love a salad chock full of candied nuts and goat cheese?? If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for beautiful food. This beet salad is nothing short of gorgeous and it was the perfect Mother’s Day recipe for me this past year in quarantine. All of the components are easy to do yourself and the best part is, you can make everything ahead of time and compose your salad whenever you’re hungry!
Not only are beets a beautiful bright color, but they’re so good for you. Beets are packed with nutrients like iron and fiber. When you eat them raw (juiced for example) they can even help to give you an energy boost. Not to mention, the ancient Romans believed beets to be an aphrodisiac!
This recipe will teach you a couple of very important techniques. You’ll learn how to make simple candied pecans, tangy pickled onions and an easy champagne vinaigrette. All of these techniques can be used over and over again with any similar ingredients you have on hand.
I like to store my candied nuts in a container and use them as I go. Your pickled onions will only get better the longer they chill in your fridge, and don’t worry, your vinaigrette will stay fresh for a handful of salads during the week.
Tips for cooking with beets
Sometimes I get lazy and I don’t want to go through the trouble of roasting my own beets so I buy them pre-cooked and peeled. This is especially helpful for salads. If you want to roast your own, here’s a great recipe.
- When you’re handling beets, use plastic gloves so you don’t stain your hands.
- Cover your cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper so you don’t stain your cutting board.
Tips for making a vinaigrette
- As a rule of thumb, I always go with a ratio of 3:1, oil to vinegar.
- You can use whatever kinds of herbs, aromatics (like garlic or shallots) or acidity you’d like.
- Pair your herbs with the rest of the ingredients.
- You can use Dijon mustard for extra thickness.
- Always whisk your herbs, vinegar, aromatics and mustard (if you’re going in that direction) before you add oil.
- Always add oil in a slow steady stream and taste for seasoning later on.
- Don’t dress your salad until everyone is ready to sit down and eat, or else your greens will get soggy.
This salad is such a great balance of sweet, crunchy, and tangy. I love the way the sweet beets and nuts work with the tangy goat cheese and the greens help to balance everything out. You can use this dish as an entree and add a protein like salmon or chicken or just as a starter, depending on your menu. I know you’ll love this beautiful dish just as much as I do!
- Mason jar
- Saute pan
- Sauce pot
- 6 medium beets cleaned, roasted, peeled and chopped
- 6 cups greens washed and dried
- 3/4 cup goat cheese crumbled
Pickled Red Onion
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup pecans
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 small shallot finely diced
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- Chop roasted beets and set aside
- Mix pickling liquid ingredients (minus onion) in a sauce pot and bring to a boil
- Pour boiling liquid over onions in a jar and set aside to cool
- Add all of your candied pecan ingredients to a medium-sized saute pan on medium heat. Stir until nuts are well coated. Continue stirring until syrup caramelizes. Place nuts on parchment paper and allow to cool completely
- Add all vinaigrette ingredients to medium-sized bowl (minus the oil). Whisk until everything is combined. Add oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the greens, beets, crumbled goat cheese, pickled onions and candied nuts in a large bowl. Add dressing right before serving. Toss everything together and serve
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Let’s all keep cooking and inspiring each other in the kitchen. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!