This is one of my tried-and-true recipes that everybody loves. It’s hearty, flavorful and satisfying. It’s the perfect fall salad recipe, as it not only features my favorite fall root veggie, but it also has a great comfort food feel about it. Plus, its vibrant hues are no less fall-ish than they are pretty to look at.
I am using red and golden beets as they are so great looking together. I like roasting the beets with olive oil, as opposed to boiling them. The roasting accentuates the sweet earthiness of the beets, and together with the oil creates a gooey caramelized crispy outer layer that’s hard to beat. I don’t peel the beets normally but feel free to do so before or after roasting.
The other star of the salad is the caramelized garlic which I use liberally here. I roast the whole garlic head, with olive oil, wrapped in foil. Roasting transforms completely the garlic into a sweet, mild tasting, creamy, sticky paste. It literally can be squeezed out of its skin like paste. For good looks though, try to carefully peel it off and preserve the garlic cloves whole.
For the dressing, I use simply olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And to kick it up a notch, I top the salad with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese which both extend the earthy flavor of the beets. The mellow goat cheese adds just a bit of saltiness but don’t forget to add a few good pinches of sea salt at the end too.
- 2 lbs red and golden beets
- 2 heads garlic
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil plus more for roasting
Scrub the beets well, and cut into quarters.
Place on a roasting pan, with 3 tbs of olive oil and some salt. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for almost an hour.
Cut the pointy ends of the garlic heads and place cut side up on a piece of foil. Add olive oil and wrap the garlic in the foil in a tight package. Roast for about 30 min. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it becomes bitter. Check the color - it should be golden but not burned.
Toast the walnuts for 10 minutes and keep a close eye on them.
Once the beets are roasted, you can optionally peel them, or just cut into bite size pieces. Toss with the garlic cloves, and walnuts, add salt.
Add the balsamic vinegar, and a bit more olive oil to taste. Top with the goat cheese.