Although I named this dish “Fall” beet and goat cheese salad it is not entirely a fall dish. It is a perfect dish to transition us from the warm summer days to the cooler nights reminding us that fall is right around the corner. It is a cold beet salad with all of the rich delicious flavours of the fall. This salad is a big hit in my family and is always on our thanksgiving table, we also enjoy it on many other occasions throughout the year. Not only is it delicious, but beets are insanely good for liver health so it’s a great salad to help detox from one too many glasses of wine we may have consumed over the summer. I am guilty as charged.
If you don’t like goat cheese you could easily replace it with feta or no cheese at all. Good roasted beets are also so versatile that you could top them with almost anything and they will still be delicious, I sometimes top these beets with an orange and tarragon dressing or with some delicious dried cranberries. That recipe is particularly festive for the holiday season. Either way, add your creativity to this recipe and let me know how you modified it. I am always looking for new and innovative ways to enjoy beets.
For the roasted beets:
▪ 8 large red beets washed well (make sure to scrub them to get all the gritty sand off of the beets)
▪ 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
▪ 1/2 cup water
For the dressing:
▪ 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
▪ 1/4 cup maple syrup (the good quality stuff, you can also substitute this for honey)
▪ 2t bsp dijon mustard
▪ 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
▪ 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
▪ 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
▪ salt and pepper to taste.
For the topping:
▪ 1/4 cup store bought toasted pumpkin seeds
▪ 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese
▪ 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
▪ 1 big pinch of flaked sea salt (optional)
▪ In a large baking dish placed washed beets, red wine vinegar and water. Tightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about two hours (until beet is tender enough that a knife could pass through it easily).
▪ Once the beets are out of the oven, set them aside to cool. Once cool to the touch, peel skin using a pairing knife or vegetable peeler. I would personally recommend wearing gloves to do this, that way your hands won’t be stained red for a few days.
▪ In a mason jar place or mixing bowl, place all ingredients for the dressing. Shake/ mix well to combine.
▪ Slice the beets into thin rounds and place them on a nice plate. Dress them liberally with the vinaigrette, and top with pumpkin seeds, goats cheese, dill and sea salt. Enjoy!
Time Saving Tip: If you do not feel like waiting the two hours for the beets to cook, Costco sells Organic whole beets that are already cooked (and they are delicious). This recipe would also work with super thinly sliced raw beets, however the texture and flavour would be different but still good.