This simple but elegant roasted beet salad features red and golden beets, mild feta cheese and baby greens tossed in a light dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.
Using a mix of red and golden beets gives the salad a nice visual contrast, and many people find the golden beets to be a bit sweeter than the earthier-tasting red beets. So there's a gustatory contrast as well.
Speaking of contrast, once they're cooked, the red beets are going to turn anything they touch a deep, vibrant, magenta color. That includes your hands, so you might want to wear disposable gloves when you're peeling them. And it also includes golden beets. A red beet that banks up against a golden beet is going to stain it red.
My advice is to separate the beets after they roast, then peel and slice them separately, golden ones first, peel and slice. Then red ones, peel, and slice. Keep them separate until you plate the salad.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Tear or cut the beet tops from the beets, then wash and thoroughly dry the beets.
- Place beets in a roasting pan or on a flat baking pan or sheet pan. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Roast for 30-45 minutes, depending on size and the desired doneness. Test for doneness after about 30 minutes of cooking by piercing the largest beet with a knife. If the knife easily enters the beet with only a small amount of resistance, it's done. And the smaller ones will be, too.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes or so. Slip the skins off the beets by hand. They should slip off easily, but you can use a paring knife or a peeler on any stubborn spots. Just be careful not to cut away too much beet.
- Cut the beets into ½-inch dice and toss in a stainless steel mixing bowl with enough olive oil to coat them. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of about half of it in to the bowl, gently stirring to combine and checking the flavor as you go. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
- Whisk together 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice and toss the greens in this dressing in a separate bowl.
- Spoon the beet mixture onto the center of a salad plate and top each portion with about 1 Tbsp of crumbled feta cheese and about ¼ cup of the dressed greens. Serve right away.