This Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Spread may look like it’s from a fancy restaurant, but is actually easy enough for anyone to make at home.
Instead of crumbling goat cheese on top, I turn it into a creamy spread. The salad is topped off with a flavorful pistachio pesto which transforms this simple recipe into something really special.
- Beets: I use golden beets for this recipe, but any type of beet is fine. You could use traditional red beets or chioggia aka candy stripe beets instead.
- Goat Cheese: You’ll need a fresh, creamy goat cheese in order to make a smooth spread.
- Pesto: I make a pistachio-basil pesto for this recipe, but you could also use pine nuts, almonds or walnuts in the pesto. You could even use you’re favorite store bought pesto.
- Greens: The beets are definitely the star player in this salad, but I also like to add some arugula. You could substitute arugula with microgreens or basil leaves.
Step by Step Process
Start off this recipe by cooking the beets. I usually boil them, but you can just as easily roast the beets (#1-2). Peel and slice the beets after they cool (#3). This step could even be done a day in advance. Before serving the salad, season beets with salt and toss with olive oil and lemon (#4).
While the beets cook, I prep all of my other ingredients. Make sure to take the goat cheese out of the fridge and start measuring the ingredients for the pesto.
I like to toast the pistachios even if I buy them already toasted (#5). Prepare the pesto in a food processer, high-powered blender or even with a mortar and pestle (#6-7). After the pesto is ready, mix together the goat cheese and yogurt for the spread (#8).
Smear the goat cheese spread on a plate, arrange the beets on top, drizzle over pesto and scatter over the arugula. Bon appetito!
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Make sure to take the goat cheese out of the fridge 30-60 minutes in advance so it has plenty of time to soften. This will make it easier to work with.
- Try boiling your beets the day before you want to cook them. Allow them to cool overnight in the fridge. Then, day of, all you need to do is peel them and cut them for the salad.
- Wear gloves when you’re peeling the beets, especially if you’re using red beets. Your hands will thank me later.
- Serve this as an appetizer or light lunch, or pair it with a simple grilled chicken, steak or salmon for a main course. You could also serve this with quinoa, farro, barley or even a nice crusty piece of bread that you can dip into those sauces.
You can definitely eat the greens from golden beets or any beets for that matter. If the greens are in good condition, wash them thoroughly and cook as you would any other green, leafy vegetable. They are similar in flavor to swiss chard.
Flavor wise, golden beets are more mellow, less earthy and slightly less sweet. You could generally use them the same way you would red beets.
More Salad Recipes
- Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons
- Spring Vegetable Salad with Buttermilk Poppyseed Dressing
- Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Persimmons
- Farro, Beets and Goat Cheese with Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
- Orange and Fennel Salad with Radicchio
If you make this recipe, please post a comment and rating down below. If you want to be notified every time I post a new recipe, subscribe to my blog and give me a follow on my social accounts: instagram, pinterest, twitter, youtube. See you next time!Print
This twist on a Beet and Goat Cheese salad includes golden beets, goat cheese yogurt spread, pistachio pesto and toasted pistachios.
- 3 medium golden beets (~12oz), stems removed, washed
- Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Lemon juice, as needed
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup toasted pistachios (from above)
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
- 6–8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Kosher salt
Goat Cheese Spread:
- 4oz creamy, fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 5–6 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt
- Kosher salt
- Arugula, basil leaves or microgreens
- Cook beets: Add beets to a pot and cover with room temperature water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until beets are tender. To check for doneness, pierce them with a paring knife. It should slide out without any resistance. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly and peel. The skin should rub off easily with your hands. Slice in half lengthwise and cut into wedges. Allow to cool completely.
- Toast nuts: While beets cook, preheat oven to 350°F. Place nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toss in oil and season with salt. Bake for about 8 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Cool.
- Make pesto: In a food processor, add ¼ cup of nuts and garlic, and pulse until finely ground. Add basil and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and pulse until well combined. Start with 6 tbsp of oil and add more if pesto is too thick. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt to taste.
- Make goat cheese spread: Add softened goat cheese to a bowl. Stir in yogurt 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time until desired spreadable texture is reached. Season with salt to taste.
- Season beets: Toss beets with enough olive oil to coat, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt to taste.
- Plate: Dollop a large spoonful of yogurt onto serving plates, and spread using the back of the spoon. Top with beets. Drizzle over pesto, and sprinkle over reserved pistachios. Garnish with arugula, basil or microgreens, if desired. Enjoy.
- You can use regular red beets or chioggia (candy stripe) beets for this recipe too.
- You can roast the beets instead of boiling them.
- Use store bought pesto to save time.
- If you buy salted nuts, don’t add more salt when toasting.
- You can skip toasting nuts to save time, although it does make a difference.
- You can use walnuts, pine nuts or almonds instead of pistachios in the pesto.
- If goat cheese spread is too thick, use a few teaspoons of milk or cream to thin it out more.
- You can use a lot more arugula or microgreens to make this more of a greens-heavy salad.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 1/4 beets, spread, pesto
- Calories: 425
- Sugar: 9g
- Sodium: 220mg
- Fat: 38g
- Saturated Fat: 10g
- Unsaturated Fat: 28g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 20mg
Keywords: golden beet salad, golden beet and goat cheese, beet and goat cheese salad