Beetroot and goat’s cheese
This beetroot and goat’s cheese salad makes a very elegant entree or a light lunch. Beetroots have a sweet and earthy flavour. I think they go rather well with dried figs, creamy goat’s cheese and crunchy roasted walnuts and buckwheat in this salad.
I found both golden and crimson beetroots at my local market Farmer and Son. The local market sells varieties of fruit and vegetables (with less packaging), like these golden beetroots, that I can’t buy at the supermarket. Do you like to shop at your local growers’ market?
Beetroots: a little history
Beetroots were initially cultivated in the Mediterranean for their leaves. The Greek translation is ‘teutlion’, because they bear a similarity to squid tentacles. Beetroots have historically been used for dyes, teas, and medicinal properties treating constipation, fevers, skin and circulation disorders.
In some cultures they’re considered to be an aphrodisiac. Aphrodite, goddess of love in Greek mythology, ate beetroots to enhance her appeal. Ancient Romans also believed in their amorous qualities. Frescoes of beetroots can be found on the walls of the Lupanare brothel in Pompeii.
How to use beetroot: roasted, julienned, shaved, grated, blended
Uncooked beetroots keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks. As well as roasting, they can be pickled or julienned, shaved or grated raw into a salad. Or, they can be blended into a delicious juice with orange, carrot and ginger. Cook the leaves with garlic, chilli and olive oil, or add them to a quiche or a frittata.
Beetroot has quite a high sugar content, so it also works well in a cake.
There are a few steps for this golden beetroot and goat’s cheese salad, but they’re not complicated. The beetroots, walnuts and buckwheat can all be prepared in advance, and then added to the salad when you’re ready to serve.
Beetroot skin is edible, and particularly soft after roasting, so you don’t need to peel them. I did peel them for the beetroot and goat’s cheese salad to emphasise their beautiful colour.
PS: If you’ve tried this golden beetroot and goat’s cheese salad or any other recipe on At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. If you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Salad
- 6 small beetroot, washed, leaves and ends removed
- 2 cups salad leaves
- 4 cubes marinated goat's cheese (approx 4 tbsp) I used Meredith Dairy goat's cheese
- 1/2 cup dried figs, thinly sliced substitute with golden raisins
- 1/4 cup buckwheat
- 1/4 cup walnuts substitute with hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line a small baking dish with baking paper.
- Whisk together the olive oil, honey and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Drizzle over the beetroot, and season with salt and pepper. If any of the beetroots are significantly larger than the others, cut them in half to shorten the cooking time. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast for about 1 hour until the beetroots are soft when pierced with a knife.
- Set aside to cool, or store the beetroots with their cooking juices (you will need this for the dressing) in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Roast the walnuts and buckwheat for about 10 minutes on a separate tray simultaneously with the beetroots. Both the walnuts and buckwheat will darken a little when when they're cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside, or cool and store them in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Assemble the mixed leaves on a large flat plate or 4 small plates, then place the beetroots, figs and goat's cheese on top. Whisk the beetroot juices and vinegar together, then drizle over the salad (you may not need all of it).
- Scatter the pomegranate arils, walnuts and buckwheat over the top and serve immediately.