Beets can look intimidating. How do I peel them? How do I cook them? Won’t they stain my hands and make a mess? Making this beet salad will take all of those worries away. First golden beets are used to eliminate the messiness and stained hands that red beets tend to do. I find golden beets to have a better flavor. They really do taste different than the red ones. So if you’re not a red beet fan, you might like these. I find roasting beets are the best way to bring out their flavors.
In this dish, they are roasted with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and finely diced onions which allow them to caramelize for even more flavor. Round it out with spinach, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts for a delicious salad. It makes a great salad for lunch or even a side dish for dinner. Let’s get to cooking these beets!
Making vinaigrettes from scratch require very few ingredients that are usually items you already have in your pantry. Balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil. A little salt and pepper. That’s it.
You’ll need 2 medium golden beets. Many grocery stores sell loose beets instead of bunches so you can choose your own. These 2 beets are equal to about 1 pound.
Ok. How to peel them? Use a sharp knife and remove the top and bottom ends. Then hold the beet down and run your knife down the sides, rotating the beet, to remove the skin. Cut the beet in half and cut into wedges. Easy as that.
Toss the beets with a little bit of onion and some of the balsamic vinaigrette. Ready for roasting. Get comfy. Read a magazine. Do some laundry. It’ll take a bit of time.
The beets should look caramelized and browned slightly. Use a fork and pierce the beet for doneness. Ok. Here’s where you have a decision to make. Do you want to serve the beets warm or room temperature? I personally like to serve them warm so the spinach wilts and the whole salad warms through from the beets. Otherwise, allow the beets to cool awhile.
Toss the spinach and walnuts with the remaining vinaigrette. You may or may not use all of it depending on how much dressing you like on your salad. The honey in the balsamic vinaigrette thickens the vinaigrette with a hint of sweetness. It’s a great dressing you’ll want to make over and over again to put on any of your favorite salads.
Golden Beet Salad with Spinach and Goat Cheese
adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners
This salad can be served warm or at room temperature. Allow the beets to cool completely for a room temperature salad or add the beets directly to the salad after roasting for a warm salad.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium golden beets, peeled, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon onion, finely diced
3 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (see note below)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt and pepper, and oil. Whisk together until well blended. Set aside.
Add the beets and onion to a small baking dish. Pour 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the beets and toss to coat. Cover the dish with aluminum foil (or oven-safe lid) and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil (or oven-safe lid) and roast uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes longer to caramelize until tender. Insert a fork into a beet to test for doneness. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, add the spinach, walnuts, and desired amount of the remaining vinaigrette (depending on how much dressing you like on your salad). Toss to coat. Divide the salad onto 2 plates. Arrange the beets on top of the salad. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper taste and serve.
Note: To toast the walnuts, place a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts, spreading them evenly in the pan. Warm the walnuts for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly toasted.