I’ll be honest… I’m not super crazy about salads. Yes, I love eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and cooking plant-based meals. But I usually go for a more interesting preparation. For the most part, if there’s another way to get my greens than in a salad, I’m all for it.
Well, this Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad is a major exception. I could eat it all day every day. It’s the perfect blend of textures and flavors. Crisp, peppery arugula and soft, sweet roasted beets, oozing with flavor and color. Don’t forget the creamy, tangy goat cheese and the buttery crunch of walnuts to bring round everything out. Plus red onion and lemon for a bright little kick. And all brought together under a luxurious drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Seriously, this salad has it all. Not to mention a healthy blend of protein, good fats and complex carbs, plus plenty of vitamins and minerals. It’s good, and it’s good for you. Have it as a side, an appetizer or even a full blown entreé (plus it’s delicious with a big piece of lean protein, like salmon, on top… check out a perfectly paired salmon recipe here).
It’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a salad and more. Let’s dig in!
It all starts with roasted beets…
This Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad recipe takes a little bit of planning ahead because of the preparation of the beets. They need an hour to roast, plus some additional cooling time before being peeled and chopped. But do keep in mind, you can totally roast these beets beforehand and then pull them out of the fridge when you’re ready. Add it to your Sunday meal prep list, and you can whip them out any night of the week.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Scrub your beets under some warm water and get off as much dirt as you can. Then wrap the beets loosely in foil and bake them for an hour until tender.
A few things to keep in mind: You’ll want to make sure to check on your beets during the cooking process and make sure they aren’t charring or burning. If it seems like they are, add a few spoonfuls of water to the foil packet, and the steam will help smooth everything over. Once your you easily poke a fork in and out of the beets, then you know they’re done.
After the beets have cooled down and are easy to handle, it’s time to peel them. The trick I’ve learned to make this easier is to use a paper towel to scrape the skin off the beets. If they are cooked through enough, the skin should come off easily for the most part. I use my vegetable peeler to get any remaining tough spots. Then, just chop the beets up in to bite size pieces (roughly 1-inch cubes).
You’ve been warned: beets are full of juicy color, and that color will spread on anything it can. Wear an apron, or at least avoid light/delicate clothing/linens that you don’t want to risk staining when handling and chopping the beets. You can wear gloves if you’re trying to protect a manicure, but the juice should wash off your hands pretty easily.
A salad to end all salads.
After your beets are ready to go, the rest of this salad recipe is a piece of cake.
First, toss some arugula in the juice of half a lemon and some olive oil, and arrange on a platter or serving dish. Then, pile on your beets, some chopped walnuts and some diced red onion.
Then next step is the dreamy balsamic reduction. Heat up some balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. The heat will cause the vinegar to thicken and reduce by about half. After a few minutes, you should see some smoke start to come off the pan. Lower the heat all the way down, and stir the reduction as it cools off for a few minutes.
Finally, drizzle the balsamic goodness all over the salad, and top everything off with crumbled goat cheese. Go ahead and serve this Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad immediately, because I promise, you’re going to want to dig right in.
Let me know if you give this Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad
- 2 Medium beets
- 2 Cups Arugula
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- 1 Tsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Cup Chopped walnuts
- 1/2 Red onion Diced
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Crumbled goat cheese
Roast the Beets
- Scrub and rinse the beets in warm water.
- Wrap loosely in foil and bake for 1 hour at 375F. (Check beets a few times during cooking process, and add a tbsp of water to the foil pack if they look like they are starting to char).
- Remove beets and let cool to room temperature. Use a paper towel to scrub the skin off the beets. If they are cooked enough, it should scrape off relatively easily.*
- Chop the beets into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Assemble the Salad
- Add the arugula to a mixing bowl and toss with the lemon juice and olive oil until all the leaves are coated. Arrange the arugula on serving platter or dish.
- Sprinkle the beets, walnuts and red onions over the top of the arugula.
- In a small pan, add the balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat until starts to thicken and reduce. If you see smoke coming from the pan, lower the heat and stir. After about 5-6 minutes, turn the heat off and let the vinegar cool for a few minutes, while continuing to thicken. Then drizzle the balsamic reduction all over the salad.
- Finish the salad by sprinkling goat cheese crumbles over the top. Serve immediately.