Golden Beet, Pomegranate, and Feta Salad

This salad is equally tasty with red or pink (Chioggia) beets, of course, but golden beets are the prettiest choice. Their color doesn’t bleed like red beets, so the feta stays pristine. Radicchio contributes a pleasantly bitter edge to balance the sweetness, and fresh mint adds zip. Serve as a first course followed by roast chicken or lamb.

Serves 4.

Credit Wine Country Table: With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest by Wine Institute, Rizzoli, 2019. Golden Beet, Feta Salad photo © Wine Institute by © Sara Remington.

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 4 golden beets, about 11⁄2 pounds (750 g) total, greens removed
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1⁄4 head radicchio, 3 ounces (90 g), thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 g) Greek or French feta
  • 1⁄3 cup (60 g) pomegranate arils (seeds)

For the dressing

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt

Steps

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Put the beets in a small baking dish and add water to a depth of 1∕4 inch (6 mm). Add the vinegar, thyme, allspice, clove, and garlic. Cover and bake until the beets are tender when pierced, about 1 hour, depending on size. Remove from the oven and peel when cool enough to handle. Let cool completely, then slice thinly with a mandoline or other vegetable slicer or with a sharp knife.

Step 2

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the wine vinegar and shallot. Whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and let stand for 15 minutes to allow the shallot flavor to mellow.

Step 3

In a bowl, toss the beets and radicchio gently with enough of the dressing to coat lightly; you may not need it all. Taste for salt and vinegar and adjust as needed. Add the walnuts and half the mint leaves and toss gently. Transfer to a wide serving platter. Crumble the feta on top, then scatter the pomegranate arils and remaining mint leaves over all. Serve immediately.

Cook Notes

WINE SUGGESTION: California Gewurztraminer or Pinot Gris/Grigio

photo by Robert Holmes and Sara Remington