I love the variety seasonal salads brings to my table. This fall Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese features that under appreciated root vegetable, beets. The combination of roasted beets with creamy goat cheese and crunchy toasted pine nuts (or pumpkin seeds) is a winner. This is a salad recipe worth keeping!
How To Add Variety To a Gluten Free Diet
Salads is my favourite category of food. There is no end to the variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds you can combine into a salad.
It's well documented that people living on a strict gluten free diet tend to stick to a limited menu of their favourite (safe) foods. Yet it's recommended that we eat thirty different plants each week to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Yes, 30!
Simply by eating more salads with a focus on seasonal combinations you can increase the number of plants in your diet. For the health of it!
How To Roast Beets
Beets are often referred to as an under appreciated vegetable. I'm sure it has something to do with how beets stain your hands not to mention your cutting board, dishcloth and your clothes too.
Wear an apron, use rubber gloves or just scrub everything well after you're done. I think beets are worth the effort!
To roast beets I follow the same instructions for my recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables. It can take an hour to roast a whole tray of vegetables so I always recommend roasting twice as many as you think you need.
I have two ways of roasting beets that prevent the other vegetables from turning red.
One way is to simply wrap a few whole beets in foil and roast them separately. Once they're cooked, cool until they can be handled and then peel the skin off using a knife and your fingers.
I also like to include cut up roasted beets in a medley with other root vegetables. In this case I peel and cut them, then toss them with oil and herbs separately. I then place them at one end of the baking tray but bake all the vegetables together in the oven.
Roasted beets can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for about a week. Toss them in salads and look for new flavour combinations that sound interesting to you.
Why Make Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
Gluten free cooks read labels. To stay away from additives and artificial flavours I make homemade dressing all the time.
I can make a simple vinaigrette dressing in less than two minutes from the selection of oils and vinegars in my pantry. This recipe for Shallot Vinaigrette is just enough for the salad with a little leftover to put in a container for my lunch.
Sometimes I double this recipe and sometimes I don't. I manage salad dressing bottles in my fridge, they're just all homemade.
Best Tools for Homemade Salads
Every cook needs some basic tools for salad making. Here are some to consider:
- An awesome knife, I love my 10-inch Chef’s knife.
- A sturdy extra large cutting board.
- An immersion blender to fully emulsify oil and vinegar in some recipes. A whisk to make a quick dressing in a small bowl like I do with this recipe.
- Both salad dressing bottles and 1-cup Mason jars for storing homemade salad dressing.
- A gorgeous wooden salad bowl or a simple white or clear glass platter will be used over and over year round.
More Recipes Using Beets
Smart cooks have a handful of memorable recipes for almost every ingredient. When beets are in season I make this salad, borscht soup, a Greek Beet Yogurt Salad with Walnuts, and my Harvest Jewelled Salad that I like to make with candy cane beets because how cool are they!
Let me know if you tried this fall Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese and what you thought.
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Fall Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese
- 4 small beets*
- 4 cups greens (any soft lettuce combination)
- ½ cup goat cheese
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts , toasted (or pumpkin seeds)
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro or mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wrap beets in a foil package and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly, peel and cut into chunks. Set aside.
- Whisk all ingredients in a small jar. Can be made in advance.
- In a large salad bowl toss lettuce using only as much vinaigrette as needed. Transfer to 4 plates.
- Scatter beets and small bits of the goat cheese over the greens.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts.
- Garnish with cilantro or mint leaves if desired.