Warm Beet Salad – back to the roots

IMG_6987 2 b
(Warm Beet Salad – recipe in post)

Beets are sweet. They’re earthy. They’re vibrant. How can anyone not love them? By growing up with nothing but canned and pickled beets, that’s how.

beets b

If you’ve never had fresh, roasted beets, please reserve judgment. They are jewels of sweetness, and with a drizzle of balsamic, or a pinch of salt, they are simply divine. Pulled from the earth like diamonds chiseled out of the rough, like burried treasure; they are flavor and healthfullness manifest.
Of course, if you really do detest them, you can substitute them in this salad with other root vegetables – freshly roasted carrots, parsnips, or radishes. Each affects the same rich, sweet quality you just can’t find anywhere else.

beets 2 b

A warm spin on Greek flavors, this would be perfect for the fall or winter, combining end-of-the-season ingredients in one sweet and savory dish. Fall is still a long way off, though, and the beets were calling to me – I couldn’t wait.  My impatience was well rewarded, as I watched The Boyfriend devour bowl after bowl of this salad. In between mouthfuls he gave a stream of compliments; Thumbs up! Five stars! Homerun! The flow of praise was unending, and even days later he reminds me how incredible it was. This is a recipe I will surely be making again and again.


IMG_7021 2 text b

Warm Beet Salad
Serves 2-3 – vegetarian, easily made vegan

4 TBSP olive oil, divided
3-4 medium beets, red or golden
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 shallot, thinly sliced or diced
1/2 orange, juiced
1 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup kalamata (or other) olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced
1 large handful baby arugula, washed and dried
Goat cheese, or feta, to taste (optional)*
Salt, to taste

*To make the dish vegan, simply omit the cheese. However, if dairy is okay, do not shy away from it here! The salty, earthy flavor of the cheese is the perfect complement to this dish.

Preheat oven to 400f.
Wash and peel beets, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with 2 TBSP olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until warm and fragrant. Set aside.

In the remaining olive oil, saute the shallot. Add the orange juice and balsamic, and toss in the beets, chopped olives, and half of the pine nuts. Pour over the radicchio and arugula, and toss to combine. Garnish with the rest of the pine nuts, and top with cheese. Serve warm.

IMG_7031 2 b

, , , , , , ,

Still hungry? Try these:

29 Responses to Warm Beet Salad – back to the roots

  1. Nikki June 25, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    A lovely salad. I love garden fresh beets.

  2. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen June 25, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    These photos are gorgeous, and the salad sounds amazing!

  3. glutenfreehappytummy.com June 25, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    oh my gosh you’re making my mouth water! that salad looks so wonderful — warm and inviting! and your photos are fabulous!

  4. Foodie Stuntman June 25, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    I’m not a big salad fan, but I’d eat this.

  5. Kat June 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I’ve always loved beets (and yes, I know a few people who’ve only had canned beets and were forever turned off by them). The Greek flavors in the salad and the combination of sweet and salty flavors sound delicious.

    PS – I love the new header and layout!

    • Willow June 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks! It was about time to change things up. And yeah, I know a lot of people who don’t like them. Which is a shame, because I think if people knew how good they could be they’d change their minds!

  6. Eileen June 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Ooh, that looks beautiful! I love all the different colors (although I might use just golden beets in this salad–just to keep the kitchen from turning bright pink).

  7. Jen @JuanitasCocina June 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    Simply beautiful once again.

    And my wife absolutely adores beets. She’ll GORGE on them! I can’t wait to make this for her to change up her beet-eating habits…(which unfortunately mean…straight outta the can…*gag*)

    • Willow June 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

      Oh no, haha! Well, I hope she enjoys this. That is so sweet of you to make it for her!

  8. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes June 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Beautifully written Willow – I myself love beets, the ones pictured, did you grow yourself?

    It looks like (if that is you in the pic) you had been in the Garden or the Farm for a good deal of time :) LOVE the pic of the handheld beets – amazing!

    • Willow June 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Well, I have a little secret… no. The beets are not from my garden. Bit early for that, anyway.
      The hands in the photo are The Boyfriend’s, and because I wanted to show beets looking as fresh and natural as possible (even though we didn’t pull them from the ground ourselves) I asked him to root around in some dirt for a bit before the photo. Didn’t he do a good job getting it all under his fingernails? So authentic. ;)

    • Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes July 1, 2012 at 4:50 am #

      really such a great pic- he should be a professional beet holder, he did dirty up quite well!

  9. Riley June 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Those beets are gorgeous! Did you grow them yourself? The salad looks mighty tasty too!

    • Willow June 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      I did not grow the beets myself, unfortunately, but the salad was incredible none-the-less!

  10. RecipeNewZ June 26, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe :-)

  11. Anonymous June 26, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    A really nice site. congratulations. Really liked your quotes page. best wishes!

  12. Maggie June 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Wow, what a gorgeous salad!! I never liked beets until I got them in my CSA a few years ago and started experimenting. Now I absolutely adore them!! I will definitely make this salad this summer. Delicious!

    • Willow June 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      Wonderful – I hope you like it!

  13. Anita at Hungry Couple June 27, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Great salad and yes, I LOVE beets. They pair so beautifully with goat or feta cheese, too!

    • Willow June 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Don’t they just? I never thought I would see the day when The Boyfriend willingly sprinkled goat cheese over his food, but he loved it here in combination with the beets!

  14. The Sister June 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Mmmmmm…. beets. The Husband hates beets, so this is even better. :-) I think the pic with your dirty hands holding the beets is one of the best you’ve done.

    • Willow June 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Thanks! It’s The Boyfriend’s hands… didn’t he do a great job dirting them up?
      And that’s a bummer about your man… I’ll bet if you made this for him, he might change his tune. ;)

  15. Abby June 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Roasted beets are heaven. This salad sounds wonderful, I’ll take any reason to use more feta :) Gorgeous photos btw.

  16. Anonymous June 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Cant wait to try! Yum! Think you could use a different nut besides pine nuts? I never use them, and they are so expensive in my neck of the woods, i’d hate to spend 10 dollars for a small container, only to be used on one salad.

    Well, actually i guess i could freeze them huh? :)

    • Willow June 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

      The pine nuts could easily be substituted with slivered almonds – they would be great in this.

  17. Courtney J June 29, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Beets are my fav! I spent years hating them, but discovered my love for them a few years back. I always order them if I find them on a menu now. *hah*

    LOVE the photos Willow! :)

    • Willow July 2, 2012 at 1:35 am #

      Nice! Honestly, as I kid I never liked them… but it was because I’d never had them done right!

  18. shannon @ a periodic table July 1, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    willow: i can already tell you this will probably be my most favorite salad ever of all time. why? i love beets. and i second your emotion: it’s unfair to judge beets if you’ve never had the fresh roasted sort. canned tastes completely different, and although i’ll happily eat both, roasted beets are like candy to me. all earthy and sweet and burgundy and delicious…i would seriously eat them for breakfast. most likely, i have at some point. :) this just got filed under “go to salads for me for every single day.” yay!

    • Willow July 2, 2012 at 1:37 am #

      Haha – wonderful! I am the same way, I will eat beets any time of day. Hope you enjoy the salad!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read previous post:
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles – It’s What’s For Dinner (Again)

(Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles - recipe in post)One of my favorite, simple, go-to dinners are noodles with peanut sauce. In fact, I've...