A beautiful winter salad of roasted or steamed beets, arugula, orange segments, walnuts, and a goat style cheese. This simple beet salad is elegant enough for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table, but easy enough for year-round meal prep lunches.
Last weekend we took a last minute trip up to Carmel Valley Ranch. We literally decided to go on Sunday at noon and hopped in the car an hour later. The first day I indulged on things I don’t usually eat too much of, so the next night I ordered the beet salad and it was just what I needed. I had forgotten how much I love beet salad and vowed to make it for you when I got home.
Beet salad is the perfect mix of sweet and earthy beets, bright and fresh greens, crunchy walnuts, and creamy, tangy cheese. Use your favorite vinaigrette, or use the orange vinaigrette I used here. If you like this salad, you’ll also love my Pear and Walnut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
How to Cook Beets
There are a few different way to cook beets. For a long time my favorite way has been to roasting. Roasting whole beets yields the sweetest flavor. A few years ago I posted this recipe on how to roast beets in foil. More recently I learned that aluminum may not be very healthy, so I posted how to roast beets without foil.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooked Beets
Roasting isn’t the only way to cook beets, and when I’m in a hurry I now use my Instant Pot pressure cooker to steam the beets. If you’re an Instant Pot lover like I am, check out my Instant Pot Lentil Soup, Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili, and the rest of my Instant Pot recipes!
However you decide to cook the beets, I like to keep them whole. There’s no need for a vegetable peeler. Once the beets are tender, the skins slip right off. I usually peel them with my hands under cold running water.
Cut the cooked beets crosswise into rounds or into wedges. You can leave them plain and ready for your salad or give them a little drizzle of balsamic.
Beet Salad Dressing
I can think of several salad dressings that would be delicious on this beet salad, from simple olive oil and balsamic, to my favorite Lemon Tahini Dressing to Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette. Homemade Orange Vinaigrette seemed like a natural fit with the other winter ingredients, and it was absolutely delicious.
Other Delicious Beet Salad Ingredients
- orange segments
- soft cheese (I like Treeline, Miyoko’s and Kite Hill which are nut-based)
- pomegranate arils
- thinly sliced red onion
Beet Salad Tips & Tricks
- Make it a meal by adding cooked quinoa and chickpeas.
- Beets are a great item to add to your food prep routine and add to salads and lunch boxes all week.
- Make peeling easy and less messy by peeling whole cooked beets under running water.
- Keep the beet greens! Saute later with garlic and olive oil or add to stir fry.
- This salad is also delicious with a more delicate lettuce like butter leaf.
- If you’re pressure cooking your beets and they are still hard, give them another 5 minutes at high pressure.
- 4 medium sized beets
- 5 oz. arugula
- 1 recipe Orange Vinaigrette or other favorite dressing
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup favorite goat style cheese, crumbled (I like Treeline, Miyoko's, or Kite Hill)
- 2 oranges, segmented
- To cook the beets in your Instant Pot, add one cup of water to the pot and place beets on the steamer basket. Cook on manual mode for 15-20 minutes depending on their size, then quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid and make sure they are fork-tender. To roast beets in the oven, follow the instructions here.
- Allow beets to cool enough to handle. Slip the skins off under cool running water. Cut into rounds or wedges.
- Place arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing. Arrange orange beet pieces on top. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. I don't toss this all together as the beets will turn the whole salad pink.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229