You can make this beet salad ahead of time and keep in the fridge for up to two days. It tastes even better the day after you make it.
Beets are a beautiful, nutritious vegetable, but unless they are pickled I’m not usually a huge fan.
I made this beet salad to counteract the earthy beet taste that I’m not fond of.
The cranberries add a bit of tartness to the sweet beets, and the roasted garlic dressing ties everything together.
You can roast your beets for this recipe, but to save energy you can also cook them in your slow cooker. Just add a bit of water to cover the bottom of the cooker and cook them on high for about 4 hours, or until you can pierce them easily with a fork or skewer.
If you don’t have roasted garlic on hand, you can cook your garlic with the beets. Cut the top off of a garlic bulb and add a touch of olive oil. Wrap the bulb loosely in aluminum foil and place on top of the beets while they cook.
Let the beets and garlic cool before proceeding with the recipe.
I like walnuts in this recipe because they add a touch of bitterness and a contrasting texture to the beets. If walnuts aren’t for you, you could try pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead.
A nice salty feta goes well on top of this beet salad, but for a vegan version you can leave it out or substitute a dairy-free feta.
There are lots of different flavors in this salad. It is best to let it sit for at least half an hour before serving to give the flavors time to come together. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.
- 2 cups / 500 ml cooked, peeled and chopped beets (about 4 medium beets)
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 cup / 250 ml dried cranberries
- 1 cup / 250 ml toasted walnuts, whole or very coarsely chopped (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml dried basil
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml chopped parsley
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml orange juice concentrate
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml salt
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml crumbled feta optional
Combine beets, salt, balsamic vinegar, green onion, cranberries, walnuts, pepper, basil and parsley in mixing bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
Toss dressing with the beet mixture and let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes to give flavors time to meld.
Sprinkle with feta (if using) before serving.
To roast beets: Bake at 350 degrees F / 177 degrees C until you can pierce easily with a fork or skewer (approx 1 hour). Or cook on high in a slow cooker with 2-3 tablespoons / 30-45 ml water for 4 hours or until you can soft enough to pierce. You can also simmer the beets in boiling water until tender (approx 45 minutes).
To roast garlic: Cut the top off of a garlic bulb to expose the tops of the cloves. Brush with olive oil and wrap the clove in aluminum foil.Bake at 350 degrees F / 177 degrees C until the bulb feels very soft to the touch (about 1 hour). You can also place the wrapped bulb on top of beets in the slow cooker and cook at the same time as the beets. Squeeze the garlic from the bulb when you are ready to use.
To toast nuts: Place nuts in a frypan over med-low heat. Heat, tossing or stirring regularly, until the nuts begin to smell fragrant (about 10 minutes). Pay attention as they heat: nuts can burn easily.