Golden Beet Salad with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 servings
This salad is simple and elegant, and the perfect accompaniment to any main course. Naturally gluten-free, easily made vegan (just omit the goat cheese).
  • 4-5 medium golden beets
  • 1-2 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 TBSP good olive oil
  • 3 TBSP freshly chopped parsley
  • 3 TBSP freshly chopped mint, or other herb*
  • ¼ - ½ cup crumbled goat cheese, or feta, or other crumbly cheese like gorgonzola, to taste
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. If the beets have their greens attached, remove them and save them for another use. Scrub the beets well to remove any dirt, and wrap each tightly in aluminum foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about an hour, or until the beets are tender all the way through. Check them by carefully peeling back a little of the foil, and piercing them with a knife -- if the knife slides through easily, they're done.
  2. Remove the beets from the foil pouches and let rest until they are cool enough to handle. Once they are, rub them gently with your thumbs to remove the skins -- they should come off easily at this point. If they don't, it may mean your beets are undercooked and need a little longer in the oven.
  3. Once all of the skins have been removed, cut away the remaining stub of the stem end, and cut the beets into wedges. Place the wedges in a bowl, and toss with the vinegar, olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let the beets marinate for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you want, to absorb some of the vinegar. (If you're making the salad in advance, you can store it in the fridge at this point for up to a day. When ready to serve, continue with the recipe.)
  4. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring or shaking the pan frequently to keep them from burning, until they are golden brown in places. Crumble the cheese, chop the herbs, and add all to the bowl with the beets. Taste, and add a bit more salt, pepper, vinegar, or olive oil, if you feel it needs it.
  5. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
*You can mix up the flavor of this salad in a million different ways, just by swapping the mint for a small amount of any other fresh herb, or herbs, you like. Fennel fronds, basil, dill, chervil, chives, or just a little bit of tarragon would all be amazing. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, or what's available, and change it up to find what you like best.

This salad can of course be made with red beets, or chioggia beets, in place of or in addition to the golden beets -- I chose golden for this salad because I think they are underrated. They are also slightly less earthy tasting than red beets, and won't stain everything they touch pink.

Feel free to omit the cheese if you'd like to make this salad vegan, and if you're allergic to nuts, leave off the pine nuts or swap them for sunflower seeds or pepitas.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at