Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad with Feta

March 6, 2011

One winter while living in Eugene, Oregon, my roommates and I joined a local farm’s CSA (community-supported agriculture) for the winter.  We wanted to support a family that was growing organic vegetables through the winter in the soggy Northwest.  As it turned out, that winter was extremely harsh.  Most above ground crops froze.  Our weekly box from the farm consisted of only vegetables that could be stored in the cellar or the ground.

There was an abundance of potatoes, parsnips, burdock root, sunchokes, and beets.  There really was not much else aside from a scant amount of winter squashes that were harvested in the late fall.  Since we had spent the bulk of our food budget for the season on our CSA share, we were fully committed to making our meals from the food on hand.  It was an education.  We ate the roots boiled, pureed, and roasted with just about any flavor combinations you can imagine.  Still as the months wore on, our creativity began to wane.  It has taken me years to regain my affection for beets.  I am still working on burdock…

Beets reasserted themselves into our diet this winter.  By far, may favorite way to eat beets is to roast them.  Peeled, diced, and tossed in a small amount of oil, beets caramelize beautifully in the oven.  They are good enough to eat just like that, sprinkled with a little coarse salt, or tossed in a salad.  Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad features two of my great loves from Oregon, roasted beets and hazelnuts (or filberts as they are known in Oregon).  The sweet earthy beets pair beautifully with the crunchy hazelnuts, tangy salty feta, and peppery arugula.  This salad is perfect for both a starter for a special dinner or a side to a weeknight meal.

Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad with Feta

serves 4

2 large beets, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

4 cups arugula

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss beets in oil,  season with salt, and place on a baking sheet.  Roast beets, stirring halfway through, for 30-40 minutes, or until they begin to soften.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Put one cup of arugula each on four salad plates.  Top with roasted beets, feta, and hazelnuts.  Drizzle dressing over the top of the salads.

Alternatively, toss all ingredients in a large bowl and serve family style.

Note: While you can roast the beets earlier in the day and refrigerate until ready to use, they will lose the crisp caramelized quality.  They are still good, but not as good.

Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine the mustard, vinegar, and honey.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking.  Season with salt or pepper.

Here is a printer friendly version of the recipe:

Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad with Feta

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Beets with Pistachios and Mint

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Chevre


2 Responses to “Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad with Feta”

  1. Janice Says:

    I always enjoy another way to prepare beets. We have a few that have “over-wintered” in our garden. It’s time to get them out of there and into the kitchen.

  2. […] Roasted Beet and Hazelnut Salad with Feta […]

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