Beet and Arugula Salad

Beets: you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But if you hate them, it’s probably because you aren’t doing them right. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like a version of this beet salad, which is as tasty as it is beautiful.

Although technically a “salad,” this dish is also substantial enough that it often comprises the entire meal in our house, especially for lunch. It’s also incredibly versatile. Use any kind of vinegar you prefer: red wine, apple cider, etc. Substitute spinach for arugula, or skip the greens altogether. And grab any kind of nut you have hiding out in your pantry: pecans, are my favorite, but pistachios are also delicious. Any kind of beets will do; but if you have a mixture of golden, red, and Chioggia it makes the salad all the more beautiful. Just don’t skimp on the cheese!

Beet, Arugula and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • beets, about 4 large (red, golden, or Chioggia)
  • arugula (or spinach)
  • feta, crumbled
  • pecans, toasted (or roasted pistachios)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (red wine, chianti, or apple cider)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • sea salt


Preparation

Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the greens from the beets and discard. Place the beets in a heavy-bottomed baking dish. Fill with enough water to cover the beets half-way. Cover and cook until the beets are cooked through and you can pierce them easily with a fork (about 30-40 minutes).

When the beets are cooked, allow to cool. Then you should be able to just squeeze the beets right out of their skins. Use a peeler to peel the tougher parts. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with a mixture of the vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, and let marinate for a couple of hours.

Create a bed of greens (arugula or spinach). Place a generous portion of the marinated beets on top. Add several spoonfuls of the crumbled feta. And sprinkle with nuts. Enjoy!