A hearty winter salad made from roasted beets, toasted walnuts, and creamy gorgonzola with a lightly herbed olive oil vinaigrette.
Roasted vegetable salads keep me eating salads in the winter, when I don’t necessarily want a bowl of cold greens. This Roasted Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola salad is a little bit salad, and a little bit side dish.
I love beets, and they’re one of my favorite vegetable to roast. We especially love to spiralize them, which speeds up the roasting time, and honestly, makes them just a little more fun to eat. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also slice the beets or cut them into chunks. As long as they’re all about the same size, you’ll be ok. Adjust your roasting time accordingly.
There aren’t many things I like better with beets than creamy gorgonzola and toasted walnuts. They both add some protein, and walnuts have lots of healthy fats.
Yup. Toasted walnuts and creamy gorgonzola are right at home in this salad. And then it’s finished off with a simple herbed vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar. The recipe for the dressing is based on Food 52’s instructions on how to create a vinaigrette without a recipe, and their formula is easy to memorize and will forever change the way you dress salads:
3:1 (oil to vinegar) + emulsifier (dijon mustard) + sweetener (honey, agave, whatever) + herbs and seasonings
This recipe for vinaigrette will make a lot – about a cup. You won’t need a lot for each salad, just a drizzle to add a perk of acid and pull it all together. We like to keep the rest in the refrigerator in a squeeze bottle, mason jar, or cruet.
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Roasted Beet, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Salad
For the Salad
- 2 beets spiralized with fettuccine blade, or sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced or spiralized
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp gorgonzola cheese crumbled
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 shallot finely minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh oregano minced
- 1 tsp honey
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Salad Ingredients
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare the beets by scrubbing them clean with a brush and trimming the stem and root ends. If desired, spiralized them with a fettuccine blade. Or, slice them into julienne strips.
Spread beets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat, then season with salt and fresh black pepper.
Bake for 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, being careful not to over-toast or burn them. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Prepare the Vinaigrette
In a bowl or blender container, combine all ingredients except olive oil.
While adding oil in a thin stream, whisk constantly until emulsified. Or, run a blender on medium-low speed and drizzle oil in through the top to emulsify.
Assemble the Salad
Layer beets, slivered red onion, walnuts, and gorgonzola on plates, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!
This vinaigrette recipe is based on Food52's excellent article on How to Make a Vinaigrette Without a Recipe. Their proportions are spot-on, and learning them has opened up the possibilities for so many tasty homemade dressings.