This roasted beet salad is served with goat cheese, arugula, grapefruit vinaigrette, and toasted pistachios. It's super simple, but so delicious - not to mention, the perfect cool bite for hot summer days or to serve with a warm holiday meal.
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple ingredients, tons of flavor: This salad uses very simple ingredients and requires minimal active prep work but still tastes absolutely delicious
- Super customizable: You can swap the goat cheese with feta or any crumbly cheese, the arugula with other salad greens, and the pistachios with other toasted nuts.
- Perfect side or main dish: This beet salad is both light and hearty, so it can be a perfect side for a main course, or be eaten as a main dish itself (e.g. for a quick lunch!)
📋 Ingredients and substitutions
This roasted beet salad is super simple - you'll need beets, goat cheese, pistachios, arugula, grapefruit, olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it.
Notes and substitutions
Though this is a simple salad, it's easy to substitute or add ingredients. I've included a quick list here but there are a ton of options - so get creative!
Greens: I've used arugula here because I love the peppery taste (and think it's a great contrast to the sweetness of the beets). You can use the beet greens themselves, or just throw in some mixed greens. I also really like baby spinach in this salad, and sometimes I leave the greens out altogether.
Cheese: I think there's something absolutely delicious about the creaminess of the goat cheese against the sweetness of the roasted beets. That said, you can also use feta or cotija cheese (or one of these other cheeses) for a saltier flavor profile, or if you're into stinky cheeses, blue cheese and gorgonzola dolce are both excellent with beets (but not for the fainthearted).
Nuts: I use pistachios here because the saltiness of toasted pistachios pairs super well with both beets and goat cheese. However, I've also used pepitas, walnuts, and even almonds occasionally. Toast what you have at home!
Citrus: I've used grapefruits in this recipe (this was the last fruit of the season) - but you can use oranges, tangerines, or whatever citrus you have available locally in season. You can also use the citrus two ways - I squeeze some of the juice and mix it with some olive oil to make a delicious, light and refreshing vinaigrette (and yes, it's still a vinaigrette!) However, you can also just add sliced grapefruit into the actual salad. I meant to do that here, but hey, B. just wanted grapefruit juice instead 🤷
👩🏽🍳 Step by step process for cooking beets (and tips)
I tend to use red beets for this recipe for the beautiful color, but you can also use golden beets. If you're like me, and curious about working with beets, here are the answers to some of the most common questions I get.
How do you roast and peel beets?
Don't try to peel them before you cook them! If you cook the beets, the peel comes off so easily (seriously, it's similar to potatoes). I typically wrap the beets in aluminum foil, pop them in the oven to roast (~30 minutes at 425F).
Once they're cooked (and cool), I typically just pop them in a bowl of cold water (or under running water) and the peel slides right off. I still try to use a peeler or a thin knife sometimes so I don't get my hands looking bloody!
An alternative method is to first peel the beets using a peeler (chop the tops and roots off first). Then you can just toss them in olive oil and throw them in the oven for roasting. This speeds up the roasting time a bit.
If you want to cook the beets using an Instant Pot, check out this guide that my friend Bhawana has written!
Can you eat the beet greens?
Yes, absolutely! You can totally saute or roast the beet tops (or even make a pesto with it) - just add them to a pan with some olive oil, saute and use as a side (or salad) by themselves. They taste quite delicious too.
🍊 Making grapefruit (citrus) vinaigrette
I love making citrus vinaigrette as a dressing for my salads, especially in the summer. It's literally such a simple process and I'm surprised I didn't think of this before! Technically, a vinaigrette needs 3 parts of olive oil to one part of some type of vinegar. While storebought ones typically use balsamic, and white or red wine vinegar, I've found that citrus makes a great substitute.
Squeeze half a grapefruit (or any other citrus you have on hand). Then add that to olive oil, and whisk with a fork. Drizzle copiously on the salad.
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
Though there's a time and place for cooked and hot beets, I strongly recommend that once you roast the beets, you chill it for at least an hour before serving. That makes this an ideal make-ahead salad. If not, pop them into the fridge while you assemble the rest of the ingredients! I suggest assembling the salad right before serving (the vinaigrette and goat cheese) can cause the arugula to get soggy if left soaking for too long.
I love serving this roasted beet salad with almost any main dish - because beets are super versatile! Here are a few other refreshing summer salads:
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Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Citrus Vinaigrette
- 3 red beets, medium, greens and roots chopped off
- ½ grapefruit, medium; substitute with oranges or tangerines as needed!
- ¼ cup pistachios, toasted - salted or unsalted; substitute with other nuts as needed - check post!
- 1 cup arugula, substitute with other salad greens as needed - check post!
- ¼ cup goat cheese, substitute with other cheese as needed - check post!
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoon salt, divided; I use Maldon's flaky salt; can use regular salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Wash the beets thoroughly, chopping off the greens and the roots.
- Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and coat well
- Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready, you should be able to insert a fork into the beets and remove it cleanly. If you're unable to do that, roast for a few more mins depending on the heat of your oven. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool, remove beets from foil, and place in a bowl of cold water (or under running cold water) and peel the beets
- Once peeled, chop the beets into nice rounds and place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the other ingredients
- Squeeze the grapefruit into a bowl
- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh grapefruit juice to 3 tablespoon of olive oil and whisk until it's combined well - this is your vinaigrette
- Remove beet from the fridge and arrange all ingredients on a serving platter
- Drizzle the vinaigrette and add some more salt and pepper to the salad - serve chilled!
- This salad is super versatile and many variations are possible (for every component!) Please check the post for those variations and options
- I've used a light citrus vinaigrette - you can also use some storebought balsamic, or just drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
- You can add slices of grapefruits or even other other fruits like peaches to this salad and serve this with almost any main course!