Beet Salad Recipe Backstory
When I eat lunch out at restaurants, I often order a salad. When I see a beet salad on the menu, I get really excited. Since I have not been eating out as often as I like, I decided to make my own salad with beets. It also contained arugula, fennel and a balsamic dressing. It was so good that I might be eating this salad for lunch two times a week all winter!
I am a lazy beet lover. I love beets but don't like to cook them. The color of beets scares me as I don't want my new kitchen's counter tops looking purple. But this is not a problem as Trader Joe's sells wonderful already cooked and peeled beets in a vacuum pack. I buy these all the time and there is little mess. So this salad is very easy to put together. If you want to roast your own beets, go to town but canned beets would also work.
The balsamic honey dressing gives the salad a nice zing. I made some extra dressing to have in the fridge as it's great on a garden salad too.
Beets are one of my top fall foods along with apples, butternut squash and Concord grapes. What are some of your favorite kinds of fall produce?
For the dressing:
- olive oil - provides the base for the dressing.
- white balsamic vinegar - adds some nice acidity and flavor.
- water - helps keep your dressing thin enough to drizzle.
- honey - sweetens up the dressing and balances nicely against the vinegar (you could also use something like agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan option).
For the salad:
- arugula - this is the base for your salad, but you can really use whatever greens you prefer.
- sliced cooked beets - some stores sell these pre-sliced and cooked, which makes prep so easy!
- fennel - an underrated ingredient that will add a subtle spice and bitterness to your salad.
- feta cheese - this mild and creamy cheese pairs nicely with all of the ingredients for this dish.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
- Definitely! Combine all of the ingredients minus the dressing and store in the fridge, then drizzle on the dressing when it's time to serve your salad.
How long will my beet salad last?
- This is a salad that is much better fresh, so I recommend that you don't keep it around for too long once the dressing is on and everything has come together.
- At the most, after one day or so in the fridge it will probably still be fine to eat this salad, but the quality is at its best when it's just been put together!
How do I buy the best arugula?
- Choose arugula that looks fresh; the leaves should have a nice and vibrant green hue.
- Avoid leaves that are yellow or wilted, and any sliminess is an indication that the arugula has probably gone bad.
- Prepackaged arugula should be inspected for excess moisture within the bag, which can lead to quicker rotting.
- Arugula is at its peak during the summer, but quality arugula can also be found in late spring and early fall if you keep your eyes peeled!
- If you can't find arugula or prefer a different kind of greens as the base of your salad, some other great options are baby spinach, Radicchio, dandelion greens or watercress.
- For some extra texture and crunch, sprinkle your salad with some crushed or sliced walnuts and almonds.
- Not a fan of fennel? Try some chopped celery or bok choy instead; they have similar flavors and textures but don't have as much of the licorice flavor that fennel has.
- In addition or instead of beets, you could also slice and cook some carrots or parsnips to add more flavor and variety to your salad!
More Beet Recipes
- Garbanzo Beans and Beet Salad
- Roasted Beets from Love and Lemons
- One Pan Citrus Beets Roasted Chicken from Recipes to Nourish
- Beet Fried Rice from Yup, It's Vegan!
Other Salad Recipes
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese, Grapes, and Almonds
- Marinated Mushroom Salad
- Avocado, Tomato, and Arugula Salad
- Caesar Salad from Natasha's Kitchen
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Arugula Salad with Beets and Fennel
- 4 TBS olive oil
- 3 TBS white balsamic vinegar
- 1 TBS water
- 2 TBS honey
- 6 cups arugula
- 2 cups sliced cooked beets
- ¼ cup fennel shaved or grated
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, water and honey. Set aside.
- Arrange the arugula on a large deep plate. Top with the beets and fennel.
- Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad. Use as much or as little as you would like.
- Top with feta cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
First Published September 2013; Updated December 2020