One of my most favorite salads, this cold beet salad with goat cheese, arugula, pear, walnuts, and basil makes a perfect side dish to grilled meats but is also great on its own. Tossed in a flavorful honey-balsamic-basil dressing, it’s refreshing and crazy delicious!
Igor’s parents have a cabin near the woods. Every spring and summer weekend we go there for fresh pine-infused air, for shashlik (skewered and grilled cubes of meat popular in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Central Asia), and simply to relax from the city noise. Birds chirping, wind blowing through trees, no internet connection whatsoever… So peaceful. That’s when your mind truly relaxes.
Having spent three last months in Tenerife (yes, I’m back), we missed such weekends a lot. So we got back Saturday night and the very next morning we were on our way to the woods. Not only we wanted to go there for ourselves but it was also interesting how Adam will react to the environment. He was a little boy last summer still not walking and now he spends all the time on his legs.
All the day he was playing in a sandbox, catching flies (that’s his newest addiction), collecting pine cones and transporting them in his toy car, and doing a myriad of other fun things kids do. He doesn’t speak yet but I am pretty sure he loved it. Happy kid – happy parents!
When we go to the cabin, I usually make something to bring with us. It has become some sort of a tradition: Igor’s parents take care of meat while I prepare either a dessert, a savory tart, or throw together a salad. This time, though, we were in a rush so I quickly ran to the shop and got ingredients to make one of my favorite salads (why it’s not on the blog yet is a mystery) on the spot.
Cold beet salad with goat cheese, arugula, pear, basil, and walnuts with honey-balsamic-basil dressing! How is that for a combination?
I must say I am quite a fan of a beet. Its jewel-colored roots often make their way to my kitchen even though I posted only one (!) beet recipe in 3 years. Don’t ask me how this happened. This only recipe I managed to post was the beet and goat cheese Wellington, which was spectacular by the way.
The old and proven beetroot and goat cheese combination shines in a new light with the addition of peppery arugula, crunchy walnuts, and sweet pear in this cold beet salad. Oh, and of course my beloved basil! I still grow it on my windowsill and I keep adding these aromatic leaves everywhere I can. Because it’s awesome.
Simple, refreshing, and nutritious, this salad makes a great lunch or a side to grilled meats. Try it once and you will be hooked!
Cold Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Arugula, and Pear
For the salad:
- 3-4 medium beets , trimmed
- 7 oz. (200g) arugula
- 6 oz. (170g) soft goat cheese , cubed
- 6 basil leaves , cut into strips
- a handful of walnuts , chopped
- 1 large pear , sliced or cubed
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 basil leaves
- black pepper , to taste
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together until combined. Set aside.
- On a plate, arrange the arugula leaves and drizzle them with the dressing. Top with the beets and drizzle with some more dressing. Arrange the goat cheese, sprinkle with the basil and walnuts. Add the pear slices. Pour the remaining dressing over and toss well. Enjoy!