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.
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.