Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Winter in California is the season for arugula, along with many other lettuces. A few years ago we planted some in our garden and now each year the arugula re-seeds itself and takes over with a flourish, starting in December. Arugula was popularized a few years ago as a central component of California cuisine. For those unfamiliar with it, it tastes a lot like watercress – peppery and slightly bitter. In this recipe the goat cheese mellows the pepperiness of the arugula, while the beets offer a sweet contrast to its bitter quality. Chopped walnuts add a little more texture to the salad.

Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • Beets - (boiled until a fork easily goes in it, about an hour), peeled, sliced into strips
  • Fresh arugula - rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
  • Goat cheese - chevre
  • Walnuts - chopped

Dressing ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Dry powdered mustard
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Method

The amount of ingredients depends on how many people you are serving and how much salad you intend to serve them. The important thing is that this is a good blend of flavors. I didn't try tossing this salad; each plate was composed individually.

The dressing for three individual salads was 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon of powdered mustard, 3/4 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Actually, it is all to taste. These are only approximate measurements.

Assemble the salad according to how much you want. A handful of arugula leaves, a few beet juliennes, some crumbled goat cheese, garnish with chopped walnuts. Use a vinaigrette salad dressing or what I've described above.

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Links:
From Seed to Salad Bowl in Less than a Month - Farm Girl demonstrates how easy it is to grow arugula.

20 Comments

  1. azalea

    I ate a slightly different version of this once, with lightly caramelized pecans instead of walnuts, and some grilled green asparagus thrown in. Delicious!

  2. lydia

    A classic winter salad. Beets are hard to find in New England at this time of year — what we do find are storage beets, which can be a bit woody — but pears are a good substitute.

  3. Tim

    I have been thinking of something similar for the past few days, a salad of greens, pears, feta and walnuts perhaps. I have to say that having tried the beets with goats cheese and nuts it is the perfect combo.

  4. PamC.

    I have never been able to stand goat cheese. I love other strong cheeses, but really dislike goat cheese. Is there some variety of flavor in goat cheese, some kind that is more mild that others? I would probably substitute blue or feta cheese in this. The rest of this sounds yummy.

  5. Deborah Dowd

    I made a version of this with caramelized onions, roasted beets, goat cheese and walnuts with baby spinach. Even my guests who didn’t like beets liked it!

  6. Rebecca

    You are so lucky to have arugula in season; it will be a long time before we see it here. This salad looks so fresh and good, just the cure for the winter doldrums. I’m not a fan of goat cheese so I would substitute a Danish blue or gorgonzola dolce. The beets combined with the bitter greens are a brilliant idea!

  7. The Culinary Chase

    All my favorite items in a salad. I love arugula (aka rocket) not only for its unique taste but also for the health benefits it offers. YUM!

    Cheers,
    Heather

  8. Cori

    Can’t beat a great beet and arugala salad. This one looks delicious.

  9. Madalyn

    I make this salad with one change. I do not boil the beets, I roast them. (peel, cut up beets, salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil. 400 oven for 30 to 45 minutes) It really intensifies the flavor and the consistency of the beets is firmer. Candied pecans or candied walnuts are nice too.

  10. Becca

    I make a similiar salad with brie instead of goat cheese. Also to save time I buy beets from Trader Joes that are already cooked. I just chop them and throw them into my salad. I think I ate this salad for dinner for two weeks straight! Yum.

  11. Chris

    My mouth is totally watering right now….yum! If I see a salad like this on a menu – I am all over it!

  12. Sharon

    Have to agree with Madalyn on the beets! But I roast them in their skins on little beds of rock salt so they sorta steam/roast in their little skins and they are very easy to peel by hand, their skins just slip off.

  13. Amy

    I like the way you describe putting the salad together, Elise. I was asked to jot down a similar salad recipe for a wedding shower recently, and had the hardest time trying to convey how much of each ingredient was necessary since I always make it to taste. My friend is a good cook so I was tempted to just list the ingredients and say, “It’s a salad. I think you can figure it out from here. ;)”

  14. ChrisE

    Hi Elise,

    Fab recipe! Wonderful combination of flavours and textures.

    Our grocer had run out of goats cheese so I used Feta and missed out the salt from the dressing. It seemed to work well – I will try it with the Chevre at some stage, tho.

    Keep up the good work :-)

    C.

  15. idlehouse

    I, too, used some left over Feta that I had, and I added some raisins that I found in the fridge. I roasted my beets in the oven for a firmer texture. For dressing, I used Briana french wine vinaigrette instead of mixing my own. My salad greens were a mix of arugula, mizuna, and watercress. This worked well. Thank you for an awesome recipe, it helped me cleared away all the left-overs in my fridge.

  16. Juliet

    I came across your website this evening while searching for something to make with beets (I cooked some yesterday). I loved your recipe, it’s so simple. I had to adapt it a little, using mixed salad greens instead of arugula, and a mixture of pecans and almonds instead of walnuts, just because that is what I happened to have. Also, I toasted the nuts lightly in a heavy iron skillet before adding them.

  17. Susan

    Just made this salad (as directed) and added a thinly sliced granny smith apple for added crunch and flavor (not that it needs it!) My family LOVED it! There’s something magical that happens when beets are married with goat cheese ~ yum!

    Love your web-site, Elise! (Anyone with a fondness for rhubarb is a friend for life!)

  18. Tri

    A little french restaurant in Philly makes a similar salad like this. I made my own version at home last week and it was great. The beets were from the garden. Instead of arugula I used spinach and mixed spring greens, thinly sliced sweet onions, and instead of walnuts I used macadamia nuts. The restaurant I like uses hazelnuts. I made the dressing with some honey and red wine vinegar and olive oil. The best part is I made a little crostini from a baguette and spread the chevre on top. It was really delicious.

  19. Shannon

    We used nasturtium leaves with romaine and steamed young fresh beets from our garden–no peeling necessary. Yum!

  20. Jennifer

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit! Thank you Simplyrecipes, you have done it again!

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