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Roasted Beet Salad

1 bunch (about 1 1/2 pounds) small to medium beets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper          8 cups baby spinach or arugula

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                         1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 ounces goat cheese or brie, sliced

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim beets and scrub them, leaving about 1/2 inch of stems attached (reserve greens for another use). Place beets in a casserole dish and drizzle with a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour.

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and stems. Quarter beets and place in a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss. (Beets may be roasted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered).  In a bowl whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss greens with the dressing and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve salad greens topped with beets. Arrange cheese slices on the side and serve with a crusty baguette. (serves 4)

A variation on above:  After roasting beets, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside while making a dressing for them.  Halve and slice 1 small red onion, saute until soft.  Stir in 2 Tbls chopped kalamata olives (or other kind), 1 Tbls capers and 1 Tbls garlic and saute for 1 min.  Add 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and the cut beets.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes then pour over spinach and toss well.  Season with black pepper and top with toasted walnuts pieces.


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