I got the idea to make my roasted beet salad recipe from my mom. After dinner at Café Chardonnay, one of my longtime favorite restaurants in Palm Beach County, mom came back raving about how her $13 Beet Salad with Sherry Pomegranate Vinaigrette was the best beet salad she had yet to try. Mom was convinced the vinaigrette was what made the dish and suggested I try to come up with a similar recipe. I’ll admit the fancy Café Chardonnay vinaigrette definitely sounded intriguing, but I didn’t have any pomegranates on hand nor any Sherry, so recreating it sounded like it just might have to wait for another day. In the meantime, I came up with a tart and tangy Cranberry vinaigrette alternative (below) made from ingredients that are a lot easier to locate. Plus I snuck in some hemp seeds, which contribute a delightful creamy texture to vinaigrettes when processed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Roasted Beet Salad Recipe 3 Ways…
My Roasted Beet Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is hearty enough to stand solo as a dinner entrée (just add a few grilled shrimp and some homemade croutons —which can be made easy enough by toasting sprouted whole grain bread cubes tossed in extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sea salt and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 10 or 12 minutes.)
It is also the perfect starter salad for a dinner party. The crimson red beet bulbs are particularly festive and holiday-ish and the Cranberry Vinaigrette makes the salad extra special.
However, my favorite way to enjoy my roasted beet salad is as leftovers nestled between two slices of toasted dark bread piled with avocado, arugula and spread with Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese (Cashew is my favorite). If you can’t get Dr. Cow’s amazing tree nut cheese, a bit of goat cheese will also work just fine.
Perfect Roasted Beets
Beets can be steamed, boiled, pickled, roasted, or eaten raw (one of my favorite chopped salads is made with raw golden beets), but nothing beats oven-roasted beets. Oven-roasting concentrates the sugar and yields a buttery richness that is borderline decadent.
When roasting beets you want to figure at least one beet per person (assuming you have medium-sized beets.) The easiest and least messy way to roast beets is to wrap them in parchment and lay them on a baking pan or in an oven proof skillet, such as a cast-iron, and roast for about 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. You’ll then want to remove the beets from the oven, carefully remove the parchment and set them aside to cool. When cool enough to handle you should slice the beets on paper towels, this allows the beet juice to “bleed” out and the paper towels absorb the moisture. I also suggest patting the roasted beets gently with paper towels as the vinaigrette will “stick” best to dry beets and not bead off.
The only downside of roasting beets is that they will stain everything they touch an obnoxiously vibrant shade of pink. This is not said to scare you away, but just to prepare you.
It’s ironic that what makes beets so messy (their color!) is also what makes them so healthy and such a great component of a clean eating diet. Beet’s intensely red color is caused by betacyanin, which happens to also be a super powerful phytonutrient with anti-aging, cancer protecting antioxidant properties. In fact, when compared to other vegetable and fruit juices, beet juice ranks close to the top in preventing cell mutations that are commonly linked to cancer. The enzymes in beets are also an excellent liver tonic, protecting your liver from free radical damage and helping to detoxify your body. The health benefits of beats extend beyond their antioxidant and liver-supporting properties too as beets are also a good source of potassium (which is vital to heart health) folate and fiber.
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Roasted Beet Salad
- 6 medium-sized beet bulbs
- 5 ounces 6 cups arugula
- 1 cup pecans (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup shallots (finely chopped)
Roasted Beet Salad
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet bulbs in parchment paper and place in a heavy oven-proof skillet. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove beets from the oven, remove the parchment and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets. Slice beets into thin strips and place on paper towels to “bleed”; gently pat the beets with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Set aside.
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the arugula, pecans and shallots. Gently fold in the beets. Drizzle with cranberry vinaigrette to taste and toss. Season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve at room temperature.
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender; process until smooth and creamy.
Leftover Cranberry Vinaigrette can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Mixed Greens and Roasted Beet Recipe
- 6 medium-sized beet bulbs
- 5 ounces (6 cups) arugula
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet bulbs in aluminum foil and place in a heavy oven-proof skillet. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove beets from the oven, remove the aluminum foil and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets. Slice beets into thin strips and place on paper towels to “bleed”; gently pat the beets with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Set aside.
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the arugula, pecans and goat cheese. Gently fold in the beets. Drizzle with cranberry vinaigrette to taste and toss. Season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve at room temperature.