This roasted beet salad is just one of many ways to enjoy beets.
My grandmother use to grow beets in her garden and pickle them. They were delicious. We would have them as a side dish in little bowls. Since we were natives of New York’s Catskills and not the Borscht Belt variety, it never occurred to us to eat beets any other way – as soup or otherwise.
I only experienced the wonders of roasted beets a few years ago. For a time, my sister offered a delicious roasted beet side dish at her restaurant in Saint Paul, MN.
Following my sister’s lead, I’ve become more adventurous with beets. I have even tried my hand at borscht – but that’s for another post. When I picked up a beautiful bunch of beets from my local farm buying club I just knew I wanted to make a roasted beet salad.
Roasting beets has become my preferred cooking method – probably because it’s so easy! I simply snip the tops off the beets. (Be sure to save the beet greens – they make a great addition to smoothies, sautés and salads!)
Then I place the beets on a sheet of aluminum foil and fold up the edges to create a sealed packet.
I roast the packet on a baking sheet in my toaster oven at 400 degrees for approximately one hour. (I don’t bother to preheat the oven.)
I allow the packet of beets to cool, and then trim the roots and any remaining stems with a paring knife and use a paper towel to simply rub off the skin – it slips right off.
Giving up cheese has been one of the greater challenges I’ve faced since switching to a plant-based diet. I’ve become quite fond of nut “cheeses.”
For this roasted beet salad I was looking for a flavor and texture similar to goat cheese – but it had to be simple to make. (I’m a lazy cook!)
ForksandBeans.com shares a wonderful Raw Vegan “Goat” Cheese Dip recipe that fit the bill nicely. I simply followed their instructions for the nut cheese and omitted the rest of the steps and ingredients. (Although the dip sounds delicious and I may have to revisit the complete recipe some day soon…)
Of course, if you aren’t following a strictly plant-based diet, you can simply use a soft goat cheese!
Roasted Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese
You will appreciate the cleansing properties of the ingredients in this roasted beet salad if you are like my son and ahem, enjoy this salad after attending a party the night before. Beets are known to detoxify the liver. Other ingredients commonly found on top detox food lists include:
- Dark leafy greens
If you want to enhance the sense of freshness and clean eating further, consider adding a few sprinkles of fresh mint for a little extra kick.
While the salad itself is quick and easy to make, it does require a little advance preparation. The easiest approach is to make the cheese and roast the beets at least a day or two ahead of time. I made the cashew cheese the day before and roasted the beets in the morning before I made the salad for lunch.
Roasted Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese
- 2 cups baby romaine chopped
- 4 beet leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup cucumber diced, peeled and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 organic apple small, chopped
- 6 roasted beets small-medium, skinned and sliced into wedges, see above
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 lemon cut in half (2 quarters)
- 1/2 cup cashew cheese see above for modified recipe on forksandbeans.com
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves minced (optional)
Divide the first six ingredients in the order they are listed between two individual salad or pasta bowls.
Sprinkle each bowl with walnuts.
Squeeze the juice from a quartered slice of lemon over each bowl.
Add dollops of the cashew cheese to each bowl.
Sprinkle with fresh mint if desired. Serve immediately.
Preparation time does not include making the cashew cheese or roasting the beets. The cashew cheese is best prepared at least one day in advance and the beets should be roasted and cooled at least two hours ahead of time.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.