i have never been a fan of beets. to me, they usually were these unappetizing dark purple things that came from a jar and were immediately pushed to the side when they appeared on a salad. everything changed when i ordered a roasted beet salad at a restaurant, mostly because i was interested in the goat cheese and dressing it came with.
when cooked properly, beets are one of the most delicious salad toppings. they are naturally sweet, and go great with citrus and tangy cheese. i was a little intimidated at the idea of roasting beets, but it was extremely easy and i will be doing it much more often (i used this article as a guide). the grapefruit component was a natural addition for this time of year, since all of the grapefruits in the grocery are amazing right now.
roasted beet and grapefruit salad
- 2 bunches golden baby beets (about 8)
- 1 bunch large purple beets (about 3)
- olive oil, for roasting
- 2 red grapefruits, cut into pieces, peel and pith removed
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted for a few minutes in a dry skillet
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 large package baby spinach
- freshly ground black pepper
preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut stems/greens from purple and golden beets and reserve for another use. scrub beets and dry well. place large beets on a large piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. cover with another piece of foil and close sides tightly to create a packet. repeat process with golden beets.
place both packets on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast in oven for about 30 minutes. at this time, remove baby beets from oven and let steam in foil for 10 minutes. meanwhile, roast purple beets for 25-30 minutes more and repeat the 10 minute step. after the beets have steamed, carefully open to foil and allow beets to cool for a few minutes. at this time, you can use your hands to remove the skin (it will literally fall off, but if you would like you can use a paring knife).
NOTE: i recommend wearing rubber gloves while peeling the purple beets, as they will stain your hands. i also chose to cut the beets on a large white plate rather than a cutting board for the same reason.
cut beets into pieces and set aside. assemble remaining salad ingredients and top with beets, freshly ground black pepper, and salad dressing (recipe below).
for the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. pour desired amount over salad and mix. enjoy!