Have you tried the sweet, tantalising flavour of roasted yellow beets? If not, then you are going to love them in our Golden Beet Salad! Sunny beets are the centre stage for this brightly coloured, delicious salad that is packed full of immunity-boosting vitamins.
Looking for a unique and tasty salad to add to your repertoire? Our bright and colourful Golden Beet Salad recipe is a real winner!
Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness, and the honey mustard vinaigrette gives the salad a nice zing.
The roasted walnuts add a lovely crunch, and the baby spinach rounds it all out. Trust us – this salad is sure to become a new favourite!
Are golden beets as healthy as red beets?
They are essentially the same when it comes to nutritional value; both are great sources of fibre, iron, folic acid and potassium (great for lowering blood pressure).
The pigments that give beets their colour are called betalains. Red beets mostly contain betacyanins; golden beets mostly contain betaxanthins. Despite a difference in structure, they both function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the body.
Golden beets are unique in that they contain several other essential nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, flavonoid and zeaxanthin - which are commonly found in other yellow and orange vegetables.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Red and Golden Beets - the traditional red beets are earthier, and the yellow beets are sweeter, but you can use any type of beets you find.
- Greens - we have used baby spinach, but you could swap it with finely shredded silverbeet or massaged kale, peppery rocket (arugula) or even a spring/mesclun mix instead.
- Walnuts - try buttery pecans, sweet-tasting almonds, roasted hazelnuts, vibrant pistachios or exotic macadamias.
For some added decadence, try adding the honey-buttered macadamias we have used in our Mixed Leaf & Cherry Salad; just leave out the honey in the dressing; otherwise, the salad will become too sweet.
- The dressing - is incredible and can be made ahead of time and kept in a sealed container in the fridge; bring it to room temperature first. For a simpler alternative, try drizzling it with some balsamic glaze instead.
- Consider adding...
Some crumbled goat cheese or some salty feta cheese;
A blue cheese such as Gorgonzola, Stilton or blue Castello;
For jewelled colour, try adding some pomegranate arils.
You Will Need
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How to Make It (step-by-step)
Step 1 - Prepare Beets
Step 2 - Roast Beets
Step 3 - Shake-up the Dressing
Step 4 - Assemble the Golden Beet Salad.
You can pair this golden beet salad with pork, poultry or any other meat. I especially love it with oily fish such as herring, grilled sardines or garlic-baked salmon. It is also fantastic with goat's cheese pasta or a goat's cheese tart.
For an elegant dinner party main, try it with a Florentine-style pork rack and golden roast potatoes.
What to Do With Beet Leaves
There is no need to get rid of your beet leaves; they can be just as delicious.
- Add them to your next green salad mix if they look fresh and undamaged.
- Or, if you prefer them cooked, first add the beet stems to a pot of boiling salted water, boil until tender (approximately 5-10 minutes), then add the leaves and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a mixing bowl season; add some red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic to the salad and toss to combine. They make a great tangy side dish.
Common Questions (FAQs)
Red beets have a deep hue of purple or dark red, while golden beets are bright yellow or light orange.
Red beets have a rich earthy flavour, while golden beets taste mildly sweet and earthy, they are softer and won't colour your hands.
Golden beets are not readily available here in Australia, I usually find mine at farmers' markets during the winter, and I have also seen them at speciality greengrocers.
If you can’t find them, it is perfectly ok to just use red beets or any other combination of beets you find.
Don’t even think about opening a tin for this salad; they taste completely different - they are briny and full of sodium. If you are in a hurry, then use the vacuum-packed beets instead.
You can roast the beets up to a week in advance and store them covered in your fridge.
Make up the vinaigrette a week in advance and can store it in a tight jar with a lid so that it's easy to shake when you need to mix it up before serving, then bring it to room temperature.
To assemble your golden beet salad on the day, simply take out the beets and give them a good rinse under the sink, and drain well. Add them to your washed and dried spinach, sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and serve the dressing on the side.
Our Golden Beet Salad stores really well and is ideal for weekday lunches.
Prepare the spinach and use it as a base on the bottom of your containers; top it with the roasted beets and walnuts. Place the dressing in a small separate container to pour and mix through the salad just before eating.
For some added protein, try adding some cheese (try feta, goat or blue cheese), pulled pork, grilled chicken, flaked salmon or some cooked chickpeas.
- 450 grams yellow beets (approximately 3-4 medium beets)
- 450 grams red beets (approximately 3-4 medium beets)
- 120 grams baby spinach leaves (or any salad greens you like, should be approximately 4 cups)
- ¼ cup pecans (roasted)
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 220°C 425°F. Place a piece of baking paper on your chopping board to prevent it from colouring.
- Trim the root end and the leaves from your beets; do not throw the leaves away if they are fresh and unmarked; they make a great salad on their own (details below).
- Scrub your beets thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the dirt. As they are grown in the ground, they are quite often laden with dirt.
- Line two baking trays with a large piece of heavy-duty foil (a big enough piece so that you can tightly wrap the beets in them). You will need to keep your red and yellow beets separate so that the red doesn't colour the yellow.
- Place the beets in the middle of the foil, drizzle them with some olive oil and season with some sea salt, and cracked black pepper.
- Tightly seal the foil; this keeps them from drying out in the hot oven and helps them retain their own juices and stay tender.
- You can, of course, wrap each beet individually with foil, but they roast just as well if you place them together.
- Place them in the middle section of your oven. How long you roast your beets will depend on their size, how many there are, how fresh they are (fresher cooks faster), and if you have anything else cooking in there.
- Your small beets could take half an hour, and your larger ones could take an hour or more. Just start checking them after they have been cooking for 20 minutes or so.
- To test if the beets are done, remove the foil packets from the oven, carefully open the foil to prevent getting burned by escaping steam and prick the largest beet in the middle with a fork, it should come out easily, and it should feel soft and tender.
- When done, use your tongs to unwrap them carefully and allow them to cool before handling them.
- To peel your roasted beets, wear gloves to avoid your hands turning red; then either rub them with your gloved hands or use some paper towel to rub the skins off or use a small paring knife to peel the skins away. You will be surprised how easy it will be; I tend to just use my gloved hands, to be honest.
- Once peeled, cut your roasted beets into wedges or bite-sized pieces and set aside. Don’t forget to do this on a lined chopping board to prevent nasty stains.
- Place all your dressing ingredients in a glass jar, season and shake until emulsified.
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Wash your baby spinach in a colander under cold running water, and remove any damaged or wilted leaves. Then either pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- Place your dry spinach leaves on a salad platter, place the roasted beets over them, and then add the golden beets and sprinkle with the walnuts.
- Shake your dressing one more time and place it in a jug. Serve your salad with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!
- If your leaves are not damaged and look fresh you can keep them to add to your next green salad mix. Alternatively, I like to first boil them and make them into a salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil. In a pot of boiling, salted water, add the stems and boil until tender (approximately 10 minutes), then add the leaves and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Drain well add some red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, then mix until combined.