As a kid, beets were one of the few vegetables I did not like to eat. I remember my granny always serving it with other antipasto types of foods like olives, pickles, crackers, and cheese. And the beets typically stayed in the dish while the others were devoured by my brothers and me. Beets just seemed nasty. They were a weird texture and tasted like sugar caked in dirt.
It wasn’t until university that I tried proper beats. I’m talking delicious, seasoned, roasted beets. And I was legitimately angry I’d never had them that way before. You still won’t find me eating pickled beets from the store (though I do love them homemade). But these roasted beets are a serious win for me, especially combined with roasted kale, toasted nuts, and cheese.
I first tried this salad when I was WOOFing in the Northwest Territories. My hosts at Greenwood Gardens made this amazing dish with some of the beautiful beets we pulled out of the garden that day. It has become a family favourite and my go to when I have guests.
Prep time: 90 minutes
Active prep time: 20 minutes
- 2 large beets or 4-6 small beets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 tsp dried
- salt and pepper
- ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp reduced balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 4-6 cups fresh greens
- 4 large handfuls of kale, chopped and “massaged”
- ½ cheese of choice (ricotta, feta, or shaved parmesan are perfect)
- ¼ cup reduced balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut beets in half and then into ¼ inch slices.
- In a medium bowl, mix beets, oil, salt, pepper and (if using) dried rosemary. Pour into oven safe dish. If using fresh rosemary, place on top. Cover with lid or tinfoil and roast for one hour, stirring after about 30 minutes. After 1 hour, place kale on top and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add nuts, sugar, and reduced balsamic. Toast for 2-3 minutes, constantly stirring. The nuts burn very easily, so be watchful.
- Divide fresh greens into 4 separate bowls. Top with roasted beet and kale mixture, toasted nuts, cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!