Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

roasted beet salad

Chefs love beets, as evidenced by fine dining restaurant menus everywhere, but people generally avoid cooking them at home. Either they think they don’t like them (no doubt due to all those yucky canned salad bar beets) or they prefer to order them in restaurants because they’re not sure how to make them. I, for one, avoided beets for years after my grandmother persuaded me at age nine to taste jarred Borscht, a cold Russian beet soup that is shockingly magenta. I never tried it again but fresh roasted beets eventually won me over. They’re wonderfully earthy and sweet—a far cry from Grandma’s pink soup or those weird pickled beets from a can.

Beets

They may look intimidating with their colorful leafy stems and rough exteriors but they’re not hard to make. It takes two seconds to prep them, then they cook unattended in the oven for about an hour. The only tricky part is peeling them because they stain everything pink, but it’s honestly not a big deal.

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To roast them, begin by snipping off the greens about an inch from the stem and leave the “tails” on. This prevents the pigment from leaking out when you cook them. You can save the greens and cook them as you would swiss chard or discard them.

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Next, drizzle the beets with olive oil and wrap them up in aluminum foil. Roast them directly on the oven rack for about an hour. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily pierce them with a knife.

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Let them cool, then peel the skin and cut into chunks.You can wear gloves if you want to prevent your hands from turning temporarily pink but I never bother.

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The rest of the salad is a breeze. For the vinaigrette, combine the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, oil, shallots, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to emulsify.

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Beets 7

When you’re ready to serve, toss the greens with the dressing. Divide the salad onto plates, then sprinkle with goat cheese, walnuts and beets.

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It’s gorgeous and so good for you…enjoy!

Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts, Goat Cheese & Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

For the Beets

  • 1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • 10 ounces mixed greens (I like a blend of frisée, radicchio and mesclun)
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, best quality such as Pompeian Gourmet
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

For the Beets

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Wipe or scrub beets clean then trim stems down to one-inch (leave "tails" on). Place beets on a large piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil, then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on rack in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If it enters easily, it's done. Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into ½-inch dice (I usually do this right on the aluminum foil but you can also use a stain-proof cutting board or plate). Set aside.

For the Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, add all your ingredients to a jar, cover with lid, and shake vigorously to blend.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the Salad

  1. Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again. Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts and goat cheese. (The reason you don't just mix it all together in a salad bowl is that the beets would cause the whole salad to turn pink.) Serve immediately.

Reviews & Comments

  • My issue with dressings is always balance. This recipe is right on! I am a pretty good cook, but I struggle within finding the balance in dressings. When I made this, my sister looked at me and said, “Did you write that down? That dressing is a keeper.” Thanks for sharing a simple, balanced, and clear recipe.

    Can I credit you and share?

    Thanks,
    Liz

    - Liz on March 22, 2014 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it, Liz! Please do share!

      - Jenn on March 22, 2014 Reply
  • I love beets and this looks like a wonderful recipe. Has anyone ever tried adding orange sections instead of or in addition to nuts?

    - Ken Demario on November 11, 2013 Reply
  • I just stumbled on your website when searching for a salad recipe with beets, I am so glad I did. this recipe is delicious!, Will definitely be making it again. Thank you for sharing.

    - Karen Finne on July 9, 2013 Reply
    • Welcome, Karen! So glad you enjoyed it :)

      - Jenn on July 9, 2013 Reply
  • This is my favorite salad with beets – so delicious.

    - Jane Palmer on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Loved this Salad, I used pecans because I ran out of walnuts and it worked great!! The dressing was delicious with this salad or anything else.

    - Christine on January 6, 2013 Reply
  • I made this salad tonight and my family can’t wait to have it again tomorrow! I made some small adjustments (because I didn’t look up the recipe until after I shopped!). I toasted some slivered almonds instead of using walnuts and substituted apple cider vinegar in the dressing. Thanks for the work you put into the site and for sharing the great recipe.

    - Sandra Watson on October 19, 2012 Reply
  • This is my all time favorite salad. I add garlic to the salad dressing.

    - Bonnie on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • Please sign me up!

    - Bek on July 7, 2012 Reply
  • Made this last night…so delicious! My husband wouldn’t stop talking about how yummy it was. I shared the recipe with a group of friends who are trying to eat healthier. Subscribing to your site now!

    - Liz on July 1, 2012 Reply
  • Incredibly delicious – made me look good in front of the in-laws!

    - Susanchef on June 25, 2012 Reply
  • This is my all time favorite salad. I LOVE beets.

    - Jane on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • Made this salad and loved it so much, we had to have it the next night. I made it with spinach and spicy brown mustard I had on hand and it was fantastic! This is definitely our new favorite salad! Thank u so much

    - lauren on April 30, 2012 Reply
  • Thank you for the primer on roasting beets. (My dad used to boil them on the stove, and that was always a turn-off to me.) Roasting the beets was oh-so-easy and the kids kept coming in the kitchen and asking what that “earthy” smell was! We used a mix of yellow and striped red beets from the farmer’s market and it made the salad very pretty. Loved the dressing. This salad helped us get out of our Italian and Greek salad rut. Delicious!

    We will definitely make this salad again, as soon as our local Farmer’s market re-opens for the season.

    - Liesel on March 8, 2012 Reply
  • Love this recipe and make it often! I use sherry vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.

    - Diane on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Great salad. Beets are one of my favorite vegetables.

    - Jane Palmer on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Another wonderful and easy dressing. I have been impressed by all your recipes so far. The salad dressings are genuinely fabulous. I’ve tried recipes from other websites and have been disappointed. Thanks for sharing!

    - Nan on February 26, 2012 Reply
  • My son-in-law made this for our Christmas salad…wonderful…since the beets are served cool can I roast the day before and still get the same firmness.

    - Janet on February 1, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Janet, So glad you enjoyed the salad. You can definitely cook the beets the day before.

      - Jenn on February 1, 2012 Reply
  • Maybe the secret is the Bonne Maman jar. My guests are still talking about the dressing. Homemade roasted beets are such an unexpected delight to most people who are afraid to try them.

    - Debbie on January 20, 2012 Reply
  • I made this salad dressing tonight and it was delicious. I am a college student but I still like to make healthy, and this dressing was quick and inexpensive to make. I used Wegmann’s red wine vinegar, which only cost 99 cents, and the dressing was still great! I will definitely be making this again.

    - Eileen McLaughlin on November 5, 2011 Reply
  • Made this tonight and loved it. Yum yum yum!

    - rita in mi on October 15, 2011 Reply
  • I was pretty low on dijon so I just used the mustard jar to shake all that mustard into the dressing from the sides. It turned out delicious. I didn’t have any red wine vinegar on hand so I just used apple cider vinegar. Still quite good! Arugula makes a great salad base. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Lily on June 22, 2011 Reply
  • Mary, I studied abroad in France in college and my host mother always used a Bonne Maman jar to make her vinaigrette. Ever since, I have done the same and it reminds me of that wonderful time in my life every time. Thanks for leaving a comment. I love hearing from readers :)

    - Jennifer on March 10, 2011 Reply
  • Funny! I use a Bonne Maman jar to shake my vinaigrette too.

    - Mary Dene on March 10, 2011 Reply
  • Jen-Made the salad last night. So Yummy! The dressing was wonderful.

    - Robyn Blond on March 10, 2011 Reply
  • This sounds soooo yummy! Wanted to tell you that in the summer, I put beets in a “foil pouch” with a bunch of ice cubes and stick them on the grill. Same concept as what you did below, just without the oil. I guess as the ice melts it steams the beets and they have a kind of roasted flavor. Anyway, they are delish and would work great in this salad. I can’t wait to try it! I love your site!!!

    - Jacey on March 8, 2011 Reply
  • Michele,

    It’s best to leave the stems partially on, otherwise the color will leak out of the beets. Enjoy :)

    - Jennifer on March 5, 2011 Reply
  • Love it! Can’t wait to try this. I love beets and have been too intimidated to make them at home. This definitely makes it look easier. Thanks again for great ideas!

    - Randi on March 5, 2011 Reply
  • wow! that salad is such a stunner:) thank you for sharing this post and have a great weekend.

    - blackbookkitchendiaries on March 4, 2011 Reply
  • looks delish! i love beets with goat cheese. just curious about why you leave part of the beet stems on while cooking.

    - Michele on March 4, 2011 Reply
  • Simple green salad & the beets are a plus..this is so healthy.

    - Ayse nysdelight on March 4, 2011 Reply

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