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Chopped Beet Salad with Orange, Pear, Fennel & Goat Cheese

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Easy but takes some time
Chopped beet salad | Something New For Dinner

Chopped Beet Salad is a Healthy Twist on Classic Chopped Salad

Light, tasty and very sexy, this Chopped Beet Salad is visually perfect for Valentine's Day. I was inspired to create this dish after eating a small-diced beat salad at Detention, in Santa Ana, California. Detention is the reopening of fan-favorite Playground Restaurant. It is a clever brand changeup for a restaurant that never disappoints.

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I loved the way Detention's salad was finely cubed. They used yellow beets, Grana Padano, oranges, pine nuts and some tiny homemade croutons. Detention served their salad with Belgian endive and Treviso lettuce leaves that you used to scoop up the chopped beet concoction to eat this salad with your fingers.  I thought it was a great concept and created this version for Valentine's day.

Start by Cleaning and Roasting Your Beets

Beets are dirty vegetables and need to be cleaned thoroughly. This is not surprising since they grow in the ground. I submerge them completely in water and then swirl them around and hand-scrub each beet to remove the dirt. Next, I trim the greens about 3/4" from the beet and save the greens for my morning smoothie, a batch of soup or some scrambled eggs. There is lots of nutrition in beet greens including vitamins C & K, copper, manganese, iron and calcium. Chopped Beet Salad | Something New For Dinner For this recipe I used half yellow beets and half red beets. The coloring of the red beets is so strong it virtually makes the entire salad hot pink. Careful, red beet juice will stain. If you don't want a pink salad, stick with yellow beets. Chopped Beet Salad | Something New For Dinner Wrap the cleaned and trimmed beets in foil. You may wrap them while they are wet as that helps to produce a little steam inside the foil wrap. Roast at 400 degrees F for anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of your beets. Check to see if they are done by inserting a fork through the foil and into the beet. If a fork pierces the beet easily it is done. Remove and allow beets to cool. Beets can be prepared several days in advance if you like. Chopped Beet Salad | Something New For Dinner When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip their skins off with your hands, slice into 1/4" slices and chop into a small dice. Chopped Beet Salad | Something New For Dinner

Home Made Salt and Pepper Croutons

Chopped Beet Salad | Something New For Dinner One of the best parts of this salad are the tiny homemade salt and pepper croutons. I start with a great rye sourdough, dice it up into tiny 1/4" squares, douse it in olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake for about 5 minutes on 400 degrees, watching carefully that they do not burn. Croutons can be made a day or two in advance if they are carefully stored in an airtight container. Sprinkle on the top at the last minute to maximize the crunch. I'd like to give a shout out to the new bakery in my neighborhood Rye Goods. Their bread is nothing short of incredible. I use their bread for these croutons. Go there early and be prepared to stand in line to get inside.

Walnut Oil

I dress this beet salad with walnut oil, a heavenly smelling and healthy oil that is rich is in omega-3's anti-oxidants and minerals and also is an excellent complement to beets. I double down with the walnut-beet pairing by adding chopped walnuts to the salad.
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I Don't Call This Salad Chopped Beet Salad For Nothing

All the fine chopping makes this salad a labour of love. Get out your best chef's knife and put on some good music while you chop. I keep the dice small so that it can be easily scooped with the Treviso and endive lettuce leaves. If you are not into fine chopping you can size up a bit and mix the beets and other ingredients directly with the lettuce.
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This Chopped Beet Salad is worth the effort if you have a little time and are hankering for something light, healthy and delicious. My husband and I eat it both as a side salad or in larger quantities as a light dinner. Don't mix the croutons in to the salad and the leftovers will be delicious for a day or two. Just sprinkle on the croutons right before eating.

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Chopped Beet Salad with Orange, Pear, Fennel & Goat Cheese

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A light and tasty fine-chopped beet salad that is scooped into endive and Treviso lettuce leaves and eaten with your fingers.

  • Prep Time: 1 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Cuisine: New American



For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of beets, yellow, red or mixed
  • 1 medium bulb fennel
  • 1 orange
  • 1 firm, but ripe Bosc pear
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 T fresh chopped tarragon
  • 3 thin slices of sour dough bread
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 35 heads of Belgian endive or Treviso lettuce, depending on size

For the dressing:

  • 1 T finely minced shallots
  • 2 ounces white wine vinegar
  • 1 t honey (I use Mike’s Hot Honey)
  • 6 ounces walnut oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper




For the salad:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Clean and trim the beets as described in the headnotes. Wrap the beets in foil and roast for 45 minutes to  1 1/4 hours, depending on the size of your beets. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. Once beets are cool, slip the skins off with your fingers and slice the beets into 1/4″ slices and then dice into 1/4″ squares. Set aside.
  3. Trim the skin and pith from an orange and segment it. Dice the segments into 1/4″ pieces. Set aside.
  4. Dice the fennel and pear into 1/4″ pieces. Set aside.
  5. While the beets are roasting, dice three slices of bread into 1/4″ pieces. Places on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with your hands and season generously with fresh cracked pepper and olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 – 8 minutes, until crunchy. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. 
  6. Separate and wash your lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  7. Combine the diced beets, orange, fennel, pear and tarragon. Toss with dressing. Serve individually or on a platter, topping with crumbled goat cheese and croutons. Provide plenty of endive and Treviso lettuce leaves to scoop up the beet salad and eat with your fingers.

For the dressing:

  1. Place minced shallots in a small bowl. Add vinegar and honey and whisk to combine. Whisk in walnut oil to create an emulsion. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

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