Beets are one of those unique vegetables that you either love or hate; there’s very rarely anyone on the fence about the flavor of beets. Touted as “nature's candy,” this vibrant purple root vegetable generally has a bright and very sweet flavor. Beets have such a rich color that they have often been used to make purple dyes.
For this Balsamic Beet Salad recipe we utilized canned beets. They still have just as rich a flavor as fresh beets, but save us the trouble of peeling, roasting, and slicing them by hand, which is known to make quite the mess. This little time saver means that this salad can be whipped up in a snap to go along with just about any meal.
In this salad the sweet sliced beets are paired with crumbly, creamy feta cheese that adds a bit of tartness, while the walnuts add a nutty crunch. We laid it all over a bed of baby greens, but really any type of seasonal lettuce would be a wonderful accompaniment.
For the dressing we reduced good quality balsamic vinegar with pure maple syrup. The reduction makes a very rich-flavored sauce that lends itself well to this salad (as well as many others and even grilled chicken or pork). The sauce could be used as a marinade for grilled chicken added to the salad to make it a larger meal. We added a pinch of salt and a bit of oil in order to make the dressing more vinaigrette-like and balance out some of the sweetness.
On its own, this beet salad is a great way to spice up an otherwise average weeknight meal. Elevate it even further with bacon crumbles or candied nuts.
Balsamic Beet Salad
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 6 cups mixed seasonal greens
- 1 can good quality sliced beets
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
Combine the vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer. Cook until reduced by slightly less than half. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, wash and dry the salad greens then arrange on a large plate or serving dish. Arrange sliced beets on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the walnuts, and cheese on top and drizzle with cooled reduction.