Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

A good lunchtime salad should satisfy you without leaving you hungry two hours later. Nuts, beans, vegetables, and cheese are a good combo to keep you happy.

This roasted beet and arugula salad is colorful, and full of different flavors and textures to keep things interesting. Tender beets. Creamy garbanzos. Super soft goat cheese against crunchy pistachios. And, of course, peppery arugula! Grainy mustard and balsamic vinegar brings everything together in a tangy dressing.

I like using both golden and purple-red beets to add color. These naturally bright hues also mean this vegetable is amazing for your body and will keep you feeling healthy. Vitamin C! Iron!

Let me remind you that the red beets will stain your hands and everything they touch. You can go all golden if you want to avoid pink hands, but you’ll miss out on sweeter beets.

Arugula, which also goes by roquette or rocket, is a lot more flavorful than romaine. The greens are on the small side, and a lot easier to eat than a raw spinach salad.

One more thing on beets. I always roast them by chopping them up and letting them cook in a high-heat oven with salt, pepper, and oil. But one time I tried wrapping whole beets and putting those in the oven for a while. This worked just fine for cooking the beets, but the beets were steamed rather than roasted. Roasted is better! Molly Stevens later explained to me the different effects of these methods in her thick book, All About Roasting.

You can change this salad in countless ways by using what’s already in your kitchen. Throw in some spinach or shreds of kale. Grate some parmesan cheese on the salad if you’re out of goat cheese. A few cranberries or dried cherries would add sweetness and complement the pistachios. Toasted pine nuts would also work.

Healthful and delicious.

roasted beet and arugula salad

serves one

  • 4 large red and golden beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a handful of arugula
  • ~1/2 cup of garbanzos, rinsed if from a can
  • ~1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
  • goat cheese

for the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • a splash of balsamic (or a bit more if you want a tangier dressing)
  • pepper
  • coarse ground or Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 425°F.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the beets. Chop the beets to about the size of a quarter.

Toss chopped beets in a mixing bowl with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the beets on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. At this point the beets should be firm but you should be able to cut into them with the side of a fork. Let them cool. For a crispier beet, give them 5 to 10 more minutes in the oven. If you’re short on time, chop the beets into smaller pieces. (Four beets will leave you with enough for the salad and a cup or so of leftover roasted beets to save for salads throughout the week).

Use the same mixing bowl to toss a handful of arugula with salad dressing. To make the dressing, mix a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic, a few grinds of pepper, and a small dollop of mustard. Feeling spicy? Add a squeeze of Sriracha. Mix in the garbanzos with the arugula. Set aside.

Break the shells off of the pistachios, leaving you with no more than a 1/4 cup. Add pistachios and about a 1/2 cup of beets to the bowl with arugula. Toss the salad together.

Move salad to a plate, and finish it by crumbling some small pieces of goat cheese on top of the salad.

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