My Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese is the perfect light and nutritious dish! Earthy beets are paired with creamy goat cheese and a refreshing vinaigrette in this refreshing summer salad.
Once Memorial Day rolls around, it typically signals the start of the summer season! Although we don’t get as much seasonal temperature variation in South Florida, I still prefer to eat lighter, simpler meals in the summertime. That means plenty of grilled dishes and yummy salads filled with fresh, local Florida produce.
My Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese is the perfect light and nutritious summer dish. The key to making salads interesting and tasty is to add a variety of ingredients with different colors, textures and flavors. When I saw some lovely red and golden beets at my local market, I was inspired to create this dish.
Beets- Nutritional Powerhouses
Beets are nutritional powerhouses. They are a good source of fiber and several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. They are an especially rich source of folate, a B vitamin that’s particularly important for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in the developing baby.
In addition, beets are packed with phytonutrients (natural plant-based chemicals) that have several health-promoting properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying effects. They also contain compounds that may help lower your blood pressure and prevent certain types of cancer.
I must admit that I didn’t always love beets, probably since I didn’t grow up eating them. And then I changed my mind once I was older and tried some delicious beet dishes. They can be somewhat of an acquired taste since they have an assertive, earthy flavor. If think you’re not a fan, I would suggest complementing them with ingredients that will round out their flavor. Some ingredients that pair well with beets are oranges, ginger, goat cheese, and nuts.
Although I like roasting fresh beets when I have the time, you can also buy cooked beets at the grocery store. Cooked beets can usually be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department. You can also buy frozen or canned beets.
How to make this salad
For my beet salad, I decided to make a delicious vinaigrette using Natalie’s Orange Beet Juice. With just two ingredients (Florida oranges and beet purée), it has a lovely combination of earthy beets rounded out by bright, citrusy oranges. If you can't find it, you can substitute orange juice.
The vinaigrette ties the whole dish together. The secret to infusing the beets with plenty of flavor is to toss them with some of the vinaigrette while they’re still warm- they’ll absorb more deliciousness that way.
To assemble the salad, I toss the vinaigrette-infused beets with fresh baby arugula, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts. Yum! If you don't like walnuts, you can use pecans or pistachios.
The next time you're looking for a delicious, refreshing salad, try this recipe. It's the perfect light and nutritious dish!
More Tasty Salad Recipes
Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
- 4 medium red or golden beets (about 12 ounces), scrubbed clean
- Olive oil
- 4 ounces baby arugula
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (can substitute pecans or pistachios)
- 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
Orange Beet Vinaigrette:
- ½ cup Natalie’s Orange Beet Juice (can substitute orange juice)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Trim the tops off the beets and drizzle them with some olive oil. Line a sheet pan with foil and place the beets on it. Cover the beets with a second piece of foil, folding the edges to seal them. Roast in the oven until beets are fork tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly and then peel off the beet skins with a knife (do this under running water to minimize staining).
- While the beets are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the orange beet juice, vinegar, and mustard together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously until incorporated. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the beets into wedges and toss them with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette (the warm beets will absorb the vinaigrette better).
- Place the arugula in a salad bowl and toss it with just enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves. Pour the remaining vinaigrette into a mason jar or other container to serve on the side. Top the arugula with the roasted beets, walnuts and goat cheese. Enjoy!