Roasted Beets and Arugula Salad With Goat Cheese
- Servings: 4.
Oven-roasting beets brings out their sweetness and also makes them tender and easy to cut into small pieces, perfect to add to a bowl of peppery arugula that's been dressed with a simple vinaigrette and scattered with bits of goat cheese.
But beets take time to roast so making this salad requires either extra time or some pre-planning. The beets can be roasted the day or night before and then kept in the refrigerator for a day or two until you're ready to assemble the salad.
It is easier to peel the beets right after they have been cooked. It's a messy task but after roasting, let them cool just a bit and then use the combination of your hands and a paper towel and the peels should easily come right off.
If you prefer you can substitute feta for the goat cheese.
- 2 to 4 red beets, depending on the size; you'll need about 2 to 3 cups of 1-inch cubes once the beets are cooked, peeled and cut
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 5 cups arugula, washed and if the leaves are large, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
- 1/2 cup vinaigrette (see below)
- Roasting and Preparing the Beets:
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Wash the beets to remove any debris or dirt but do not peel. Cut off any tops or long roots that may still be attached.
- Cut a large piece of aluminum foil, about 18 to 20-inches. Place the beets on the foil. Sprinkle with 1-tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, several grinds of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon water. Wrap the foil around the beets to make a completely sealed packet. Place the packet on a rimmed sheet pan (in case your packet leaks).
- Roast the beets for about 45 minutes and test for doneness by either squeezing the packet to feel if the beets are getting soft, or else by opening the packet and testing with a paring knife -- the blade should cut easily into the beets). The time to cook medium to large beets will vary depending on their size but generally will take 45 to 60 minutes unless you're roasting small or baby beets and the time will be less.
- Remove from the oven and open the packet to stop the cooking and start the cool-down.
- Once the beets have cooled enough to handle them, using a paper towel and helped with a paring knife, slip the peels off the beets.
- Cut the peeled beets into 1-inch cubes and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and toss to combine and help the beets absorb the vinegar. Hold aside and let cool completely. If making the salad later, the beets can be refrigerated at this point until you're ready to assemble the salad.
- Assembling the Salad:
- Have your individual serving plates ready.
- Wash and completely dry the arugula. If the leaves are large, tear into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Drizzle about 3 tablespoons vinaigrette on the greens and toss to coat, adding more vinaigrette to taste.
- Add 1 tablespoon vinaigrette to the prepared beets and toss.
- Crumble the goat cheese.
- On each individual serving plate, place a mound of the dressed arugula. Then put about a half-cup of the beet pieces on top of the arugula, and then about 2 tablespoons of the crumbled cheese on top of the beets.
- Serve immediately.
This is a classic vinaigrette, made in a ratio of vinegar-to-oil of 2:5.
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil (about 8 tablespoons)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
6 to 8 grinds of black pepper
In a small bowl combine the vinegar with the salt, pepper and mustard. Using a fork or a small whisk, combine until the salt dissolves. Add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Taste and adjust for seasonings and that you like the acid or oil balance of the dressing.
This vinaigrette can be made in advance and in larger quantities and kept refrigerated for several days.