Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese

Full of mandarin oranges, goat cheese, and candied walnuts, this roasted beet salad is the perfect pop during the slow winter produce season. Great for holiday dinners, dinner parties, or any time your CSA gives you too many beets!

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

This roasted beet salad is one of those recipes that I have been making seemingly forever and wanted to share with you seemingly forever, but never really got my act together enough to take pictures.

And these pictures are, at best, a pretty half-assed attempt. But really, I can’t hold off any longer.

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

Let’s talk about beets.  Either you are a beet fan, or you’re not.  This isn’t an attempt to hide the beet flavor and win over any beet haters, but if you like beets, this salad is for you.

If you don’t like beets, the good news is that you can pick around them and the rest of the salad is still really delicious, so you can make this for a mixed beet household.

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

Beets usually pop up in our CSA and at our farmers market both in spring and fall, but for whatever reason, I tend to think of this as a winter salad. Maybe it’s the citrus that makes it seem so wintery.

Either way, this was right at home at our Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I imagine it would be just as delicious at Christmas (if you celebrate). I’ve served it for Rosh Hashanah dinner, too – and countless times “just because.”

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

I always like to roast my beets. It takes a little longer, but it’s easy, hands off, and brings out the best beety flavor. (Not a selling point if you don’t like beets, obviously.)

While the beets are roasting and cooling, make some candied walnuts, segment and de-seed the clementines (shortcut below!), and whisk together the 5-minute dressing.  Easy peasy.

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

Here’s my two big tips for this roasted beet salad salad.

1) If fresh mandarins (including tangerines and clementines) aren’t in season, or you don’t feel like peeling or de-seeding them yourself, use a can of mandarin oranges in water.  Basically the same flavor, but all the work is already done for you. I almost always keep a can in our cabinet so I can throw this salad together whenever we get beets from our CSA. Just make sure they’re packed in water; the salad is plenty sweet enough without the syrup.

2) Toss the lettuce and spinach with the dressing before adding anything else. We’ve all had the beautiful salad with the dressing drizzled on top. The top layer is delicious, but by the time you get to the bottom, it’s just… lettuce. No real dressing made it that far down, no toppings, just a pile of lettuce. To avoid this, I mix all the lettuce with the dressing well to make sure each leaf is coated. Then mix in the rest of your toppings. (Save about a third to arrange artfully on top, if you want to make your salad all fancy-like.)

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese: a bright and festive winter salad full of spinach, mandarin oranges, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and beets. The perfect pop of fresh produce during the long winter months. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #salad #roastedbeets #glutenfree #wintersalad

I never really expected a beet salad to be so popular, but it’s one of the most requested things that I make. It makes an appearance at so many family holiday dinners and dinner parties. And even my 2 year old loves it. Talk about a real winner when it comes to salad!

Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese

Full of mandarin oranges, goat cheese, and candied walnuts, this roasted beet salad is the perfect pop during the slow winter produce season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch beets (3-4 small to medium sized beets)
  • 1/2 cup maple glazed walnuts
  • 2 fresh mandarin oranges, clementines, or tangerines, segmented and de-seeded OR 1 can mandarin oranges in water, drained
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 20 ounces mixed greens (I like 50/50 baby spinach and assorted lettuce mix)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 gloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Scrub the beets well under running water.  Drizzle with a little olive oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Wrap beets in aluminum foil and bake at 350 °F for 45 minutes, or until soft.  Once cool, cut the beets into eighths.
  2. While the beets are roasting, making the maple glazed walnuts.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, spicy brown mustard, and garlic.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the spinach and lettuce with the dressing.  Top with the roasted beets, mandarin oranges, walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese.

A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol