This hearty vegetable and fruit salad makes a great side dish to a main meat course when you’re not preparing other sides. Or, simply add some crusty bread and sharp cheese for a complete vegetarian meal.
The earthy flavor of beets is very savory and a little sweet—especially when the vegetables are cooked. They can be boiled, baked, or steamed until tender, but one of the best ways to bring out their rich sweetness is to roast them. Roasting takes awhile, but it’s worth the time, and takes very little effort.
There’s no need to peel the beets before roasting them—leaving the peel on helps retain the juiciness as they cook and soften. A simple dash of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil is all you need to turn these wholesome root vegetables into a succulent side or salad ingredient.
Beets come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll need to adjust the roasting time accordingly. In general, an hour is enough time for small to medium beets, but large ones take longer. Gently pierce them with a fork to check for doneness.
Dressing Up the Salad
This roasted beet salad is good with a variety of dressings, such as the creamy, tangy blue cheese dressing in this recipe or other rich dressings. For a lighter option, make a simple vinaigrette or just drizzle with your favorite vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Roasted Beet Salad with Dates, Pecans, and Red Pear
- 1 medium beet or 2 small beets, scrubbed
- olive oil, for drizzling
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 cups hearty salad greens, such as spinach, romaine, frisee, or radicchio, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 red pear, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup very small broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
- Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the beets on a sheet of foil in a baking pan. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roll the beets tightly in the foil and roast for 1 hour, until beets are tender.
- Let beets rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and cut into thin slices.
- Divide the salad greens between 2 large plates. Top with the sliced pear, broccoli florets, dates, and pecans.
- Drizzle with dressing and serve.