Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Winter in California is the season for peppery arugula. 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.

While mature arugula can be almost too intense to eat raw (best for left for cooking), young baby arugula is perfect for salads, and can easily be found in markets these days.

In this recipe the goat cheese mellows the pepperiness of the arugula, while the beets offer a sweet contrast to the arugula’s bitter notes. Chopped toasted walnuts add a meaty crunch to the salad.

Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe

  • Yield: Makes enough for 2 salads

The amount of ingredients shown is just a guideline for two servings. The actual amounts depend on how much salad per serving you want. The important thing is that this is a good blend of flavors.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 medium beets - (roasted* or boiled** until a fork easily goes in one, about an hour), peeled, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 handfuls (about 2.5 ounces) fresh baby arugula
  • 4 Tbsp goat cheese (about 1.5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts

Dressing ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* To roast beets, scrub raw beets clean, coat with a little olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and roast in 400°F oven for 1 to 2 hours, until fork tender

** To boil beets, scrub raw beets clean, put in small pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 min to an hour, until fork tender


Place dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to emulsify. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Assemble the salad according to how much you want. Compose each dish with a handful of arugula leaves, a few cooked chopped beets, some crumbled goat cheese, and some chopped toasted walnuts.

Drizzle with vinaigrette.

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

Roasted Balsamic Beets here on Simply Recipes

Pickled Beets here on Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Jennifer

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

  • Shannon

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

  • 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.

  • 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!)

  • 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.

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