Roasted Beet Walnut Salad. I seriously can’t get enough this week. As a newbie vegetarian (yes, its true, I’m going on three weeks now!), I am always on the lookout for new vegetables to try. One veggie I hadn’t had in a while was beets. And oh my, I have forgotten how much I love them! It must have been fate, because the other day, I saw some beautiful fresh organic beets for sale in the store, and I just had to get some. So, I stuffed a bag full of the little gems, and went home to roast them.
Beets are delicious any way you cook them, but to me, there is nothing like a freshly roasted one–tender and steaming hot right out of the oven. To make this salad, let the beets sit after you take them out of the oven until they are cool enough to handle, then slip off the skins with your hands or a cloth. If your turn hands turn bright red, try washing them with a little lemon juice. It gets the red out pretty well. I wish I would have known this trick before I headed back to work the other day–I work with children, and I got many questions about why my hands were so red! Hope I didn’t scare any of them too bad!
The vinaigrette for this salad may be a simple one, but the fresh chives, mint and oregano pack quite a flavorful punch. These herbs are just starting to pop up in our garden now, and they are so tender and fresh this time of year. This salad is a great way to showcase their flavors!
Serve this salad as shown in the pictures, with some lovely lemon marinated shallots and toasted walnuts. Or-for my non-vegan foodies-you could take it one step further and add some feta or goat cheese crumbles.
It’ll look gorgeous on your dinner table either way.
Roasted Beet Walnut Salad
Roasted beets with fresh mint and herb lemon balsamic dressing, walnuts, and marinated shallots.
- 1 1/2 lbs beets fresh, washed and scrubbed clean, tops removed
- 1/2 shallot thinly sliced
- 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp oregano fresh, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp chives minced
- 2 Tbsp mint fresh, minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped
- crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)
First, marinate the shallots. Soak the sliced shallots in ice water for about 10 minutes, then drain. Add the shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt to a jar. Mix, and let sit until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and scrub the beets, remove the leafy tops, then drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap the beets tightly in aluminum foil and bake for 1 hr. At 1 hr, check for tenderness with a fork. If needed, continue to roast,and check every 10 minutes until they are fully cooked (oven temps and size of beets will vary cooking time).
When the beets are fully cooked and fork tender, remove them from the oven and let cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, rub off the peels with your fingers (or use a cloth if you don't want to get your hands red). Thinly slice the beets in rounds, and line out on a serving platter or bowl.
Remove the shallots from the marinate with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over the beets.
Add the chives, mints, and balsamic vinegar to the marinade, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Drizzle over the top of the beets. Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.
Crumble goat or feta cheese on top (optional), and garnish with fresh mint and chives.