Combining beets and garlic with apples puts a unexpected sweet note into this fall salad. Roasting caramelizes the beets and garlic, and even the tartest apples add some sweetness. Red beets can be used, but they will bleed their color into the rest of the dish.
This salad is filling enough to stand as a meal on its own, especially with the nuts and cheese for protein. You can add a layer of greens, like a fall crop of arugula, beneath the beets when serving, or you can make it as a one-bowl meal with a side of toasted Sourdough Cabin Bread. It can also become a filling side dish for an evening meal or holiday gathering.
If the recipe seems overly long for a salad, it’s because every step is detailed, including roasting the vegetables and making the dressing. These can be prepared separately in advance and refrigerated. If you toast the nuts in the cooling oven, watch them carefully to ensure they don’t burn.
Roasted Golden Beet and Garlic Salad
1 pound small to medium golden beets, 1/2 inch of stems intact
1 small head garlic, divided
3 tart apples
About 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons minced chives or scallions
Scrub the beets clean. Seal them into a foil packet, placing them in a single layer down the center of a sheet of foil and folding and pinching closed the top and ends. Wrap the unpeeled head of garlic in a separate piece of foil, and set both packets on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables at 425°F for 25 minutes, and then remove the garlic and let it cool. Continue roasting the beets for another 20 to 35 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork but not mushy.
Remove the beets from the foil and plunge them into a large bowl of ice water; drain. Cut off the tops and roots, and rub gently to remove the skins. If necessary, peel off the skins using a small, sharp knife or vegetable peeler.
Cut the beets into halves and then wedges, placing them in a medium bowl. Core and chop the apples, adding them to the bowl and tossing with lemon juice as you work. Mix in the cashews.
Peel the roasted garlic; sliver all but one clove and add it to the bowl. Place the remaining clove in a small jar or measuring cup, along with the prepared mustard; mash with a fork. Add the vinegar, screw on the jar lid and shake briskly or whisk until combined. Add the oil; reseal and shake or whisk again until emulsified.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Taste, season with salt and pepper and toss again. Sprinkle in the cheese and chives just before serving.
Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.
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