Warm Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Walnuts

For lack of anything exciting to cook for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago, my husband and I settled on grilling bratwursts.  After six years in Ohio, we developed a true love for these yummy German sausages.  They are especially fantastic served with some sauteed onions and peppers!  However, although brats are delicious unto themselves, I just didn’t feel right serving them for Sunday dinner … so I decided to make a little warm beet salad.  It turned out to be an excellent pairing!  So many people think they don’t like beets.  The truth is that they just haven’t had great beets prepared well.  I picked up some red beets at our farmers market and grabbed a golden beet at an organic grocery store nearby.  They were just begging to be roasted. 

You will need: 4 to 6 beets (red or golden), 8 oz. crumbled goat cheese, handful of arugula, 1/2 c. walnuts

ROASTING BEETS … Brush the dirt off the beets, rinse them under warm water and pat dry.  I cut off the greens and then wrap each beat individually in aluminum foil.  Roast them for 90 minutes at 350.  Remove from oven.  Let cool for about 20 minutes or so and then peel the skin off the beets under running water and use a paring knife.  Warning: your hands, counter, cutting board, etc. will turn a lovely shade of beet red.  For this salad, I dice the beets into small cubes.

TOASTING WALNUTS … Toss about 1/2 cup of walnuts in 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread on a cookie sheet.  Toast for about 6 to 8 minutes at 375.  For this salad, I chop the walnuts into smaller pieces to match the size of the beets and goat cheese. 

PUT IT TOGETHER: Combine warm beets with about 8 oz. crumbled goat cheese, a handful of arugula, and 1/2 c. toasted walnuts.  Drizzle olive oil around the salad.  Add some coarse sea salt.  If you have a biscuit cutter, you can press the mixture into the round shape to serve it on the plate – perhaps a little fancy to be served with grilled bratwursts but my kids enjoyed the novelty of a round salad!  Because the goat cheese, beets, and walnuts are all about the same size and the beets are still a little warm when you dice them, this salad works well pressed into a mold!  You could also drizzle a little red wine vinegar with the olive oil for a bit of a different flavor.  I hope this recipe inspires you to give beets a try! 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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