Beet Salad with Apples, Quinoa and Goat Cheese

by Kelly on February 23, 2012

This month’s 5 Star Makeover challenge was beets. This time I was inspired by my earliest memories of beets. For much of my childhood, beets were nothing more than an incredibly foreign and scary looking ingredient on salad bars. My grandmother would always load them onto her plate along with other ingredients I loathed at the time like mushrooms and chickpeas. And I, being ever so picky, would scrunch my nose, unable to understand their appeal.

Now beets are one of the many foods I’ve grown to appreciate over the years. I’m especially smitten with using them in vegetarian sandwiches like my. I thought it would be fun to do my own take on a salad with beets. I paired mine with crisp apples and pistachios for crunch and some cooked quinoa to make the salad more filling. I dressed it in a simple vinaigrette and crumbled a generous amount of goat cheese on top.

Beet Salad with Apples, Quinoa and Goat Cheese
Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

-1 bunch of beets
-1/4 cup honey
-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-1 tablespoon minced shallot
-1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon apple cider vinegar
-2 teaspoons olive oil
-1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
-1 cup chopped apples
-1/4 cup pistachios
-4 ounces chevre, fresh goat cheese

Method:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly wash the beets, including the greens. Separate the beets from their greens by cutting them with a knife and wrap the beets in tinfoil. Place them in the preheated oven and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. (The amount of actual cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beet. I originally began roasting them using Simply Recipes’ method, which calls for checking on the beets every 15 minutes after the one hour mark and I’ve found this to be pretty reliable.)

While the beets are roasting, chop the beet greens. Steam the beet greens until tender. (I use a steamer insert inside a large pot of simmering water.)

Once the beets have finished roasting and are tender, peel them and cut into a dice. Set aside and make the dressing by blending together the honey, mustard, shallot, vinegar, and olive oil in a blender or small food processor until the dressing has emulsified and is well combined.

To finish the salad, lightly mix together the beets, beet greens, quinoa, apples and pistachios with the dressing. Top with crumbles of the goat cheese and serve.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

5 Star Foodie February 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

A lovely salad, I like the addition of apples and pistachios.

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Cara February 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I took a long time to warm up to beets. Really, it was one of the foods I honestly didn’t like until adulthood (I’m not picky and like just about everything else!) and I had to try them multiple times before I finally “got it.” Now they’re a favorite and I eat them on salad every day!

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shannon February 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Mmmm, this is my kind of salad :) love the pistachio addition!!

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Chou February 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Good thinking with textures–one of the joys of beets (properly cooked) has to be the toothsome, not-too-mushy, but not-too-chewy nature of the beet. Add a little contrast, and I imagine it just pops.

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Joan Nova February 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

I wish I had a bowl for today’s lunch. It’s a wonderful medley of ingredients.

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Faith February 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

What a beautiful salad! I love the savory and sweet components, especially the addition of apple!

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deana February 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Can I just tell you how much I love quinoa? Sometimes I just cook some up and have it with a veg for dinner and I am happy as a clam. Adding apples and beets is a great idea…. never tried them before. Gorgeous color and sweet little salad

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angela@spinachtiger February 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

An all around delightful salad, full of good color and health.

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Magic of Spice February 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

What a beautiful combination of flavors…gorgeous!

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Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ February 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

What a pretty salad. I’d eat it too!

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Laz February 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Beautifully composed salad. Love the flavor profile you made, while still keeping the beets as the star.

Be well

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Lori Lynn February 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Hi Kelly – Your salad looks so pretty, just like jewelry. Terrific addition to the Cooking Group event!
LL
P.S. See ya @ Junk Food soon!

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Gordon October 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Loved this salad with fresh beets from the garden! Swapped the goat cheese for feta, it was great. Lovely colors! And the dressing is to die for… Will make this again and again. Thank you!

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Kelly October 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

You’re very welcome Gordon! I always appreciate the feedback. Swapping goat cheese for feta sounds like a fantastic idea! I know so many feta lovers who would appreciate your swap. And I agree that the dressing is good. It’s a really simple recipe and yet, it packs so much flavor. Thanks again. It always makes me smile when someone enjoys one of my recipes.

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