A simple and elegant roasted beet salad with toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese, and peppery baby arugula. It’s a delicious way to start a special meal.
It’s a bit of a tradition for us to cook a special dinner for New Year’s Eve before we go out as we both agree that ringing in the New Year at a restaurant ranks up there with other dining out holidays (like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day) as one of the worst days of the year to eat out. Seriously, I hate the crowds, the frazzled wait staff, and the “special” New Year’s dishes that just seem so manufactured.
So now we dine at home and we’ve learned the key to a sucessful evening is to keep dinner simple – no one wants to destroy the kitchen, stuff themselves silly with a heavy meal, and then put on their party clothes and go out. Trust me, we made that mistake the first year and instead of clinking midnight glasses of bubbly at our favorite bar we ended up passing out in our stretchy pants in front of the TV.
So not sexy.
So now we keep it simple and stick to things like salad and steak – stuff that’s easy to make, but still elegant enough for a special evening. This year it’s all about roasted beets, toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese, and peppery arugula for the salad – all simple stuff, but when it’s tossed together in a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil the result is a beautiful salad full of delicious flavors and textures. The only catch is that the beets need to be roasted in advance and here’s why: first, they’re best served chilled or at room temperature and, second, it will save you from staining your special holiday outfit – beets can be a little messy. So make them a few hours ahead or up to a week in advance – they will keep in the fridge so when it’s time to assemble the salad they’re all ready to go.
A simple and elegant roasted beet salad with toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese, and peppery baby arugula. It's a delicious way to start a special meal.
20 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
- 6 small to medium sized beets (about 2 bunches)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for dressing
- 4 - 5 generous handfuls baby arugula
- balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the leafy ends of the beets and discard. Using a vegetable peeler remove the skin from the beets. Cut the beats into equal-sized pieces (leave the small ones whole). Wrap the beets in tin foil (you should have 3-4 packets) and drizzle them with olive oil before sealing the tin foil. Place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet and roast them for 35-45 minutes or until the beets are fork tender. Let them cool in the packets before unwrapping. Keep them covered in the fridge until ready to use.
- Heat a small pan over
medium lowheat. Toast the walnuts for a few minutes, just until they become fragrant. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl toss the arugula with a drizzle of both olive and balsamic vinegar. You want the greens very lightly dressed. Add a couple small pinches of salt and pepper and toss it all together until the arugula is lightly coated with the dressing. Top the arugula with the roasted beets and sprinkle the walnuts and blue cheese crumbles over the top.