Drizzling a little balsamic reduction on this simple Ricotta Salata Roasted Beet Fall Salad will elevate this colorful side dish into a taste sensation.
It’s easy to associate salads with warmer temperatures. They are so light and refreshing, and let’s face it, who wants to turn on the stove in the summer? But rest assured, some salads definitely deserve a place in the colder months, too.
Once fall rolls around, it’s all about comfort food, and for me, beets so strongly belong to that. It’s so hard not to include beets when planning for those hearty stews and soups. How can anyone resist that bright vibrant color?
Here are a couple of other facts that make beets so hard to resist:
- they are the sweetest root vegetable;
- they range in color from red to pink to yellow to white and even striped, but they all taste the same;
- they are native to the Mediterranean region and according to this site, they were “grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon”. Needless to say, they have been around for a long time;
- both the root bulb and their greens are edible;
- just one cup of beetroot will provide you with a good source of fiber, potassium and folate
In my humble opinion, there are three factors that make this salad irresistible:
1-Roasting the beets: Did you know that roasting beets intensifies the sweetness and flavor of this root vegetable? If you are not fond of beets, roasting them might just be your ticket!
You will need about 3 medium beets for this recipe. Cut the tops from the beets and give your beetroots a quick scrub.
Once the beets are ready, I will drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and place them (alongside a sprig of rosemary) in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.
The skin can easily be removed once the beets have cooled off.
2-Making a balsamic reduction: This is definitely a game-changer and so easy to do. Essentially, combine a simple balsamic vinegar and honey. Allow simmering until it is reduced almost to a syrup consistency. You won’t believe how intense the flavor becomes.
3-Ricotta Salata: This is an aged, pressed cheese whose final product has a crumbly, yet firm texture, with a salty, almost tangy flavor. It is perfect to use in this salad as it complements the bitterness from the beet greens perfectly. If you cannot find this cheese, feta is a great alternative (if you are interested, I have used ricotta salata in this recipe for Best Italian Chopped Salad Greens and in this refreshing Basil Balsamic Ricotta Salata Grilled Watermelon).
Needless to say, the combination of roasted beets topped with ricotta salata, toasted walnuts and drizzled with a balsamic reduction is a guaranteed winner.
Easy Beet Recipes we love
A few years ago, I bought a magazine called Cook’s Secrets, this is one of the fantastic recipes I found in this journal. Over the years, I have made this salad with different nuts and cheeses, but there is nothing better than Ricotta Salata in my books.
This Ricotta Salata Roasted Beet Fall Salad is my go-to salad as soon as local beets make their appearance on the market. A recent trip to the Farmers’ Market guaranteed that I would have enough beets to keep me satisfied throughout the fall 🙂
Hope you get a chance to try this wonderful salad!
Ricotta Salata Roasted Beet Fall Salad
- 3 beets medium (about 2 pounds) with tops
- 3 rosemary, fresh sprigs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces toasted
- 4 ounces ricotta salata
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Cut the tops from the beets and set aside as we will be using them in our salad. Scrub the beetroot well.
- Place beetroots and rosemary sprigs in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle olive oil on beets.
- Cover and roast the beets for about 1 hour or until they can easily be pierced with a knife.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Cut the beets in quarters and set aside.
- Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 1/4 of a cup. Note that this reduction will thicken as it cools.
- In a bowl, toss the beetroots with the beet greens; add remainder 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to serving dish. Sprinkle with golden raisins, walnuts and ricotta salata. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Can be served warm or at room temperature.