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Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Winter Roasted Beet Salad

roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts

Winter Roasted Beet Salad

You may be surprised to learn that beets haven’t always topped my favorite veggie list.  It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve completely embraced this lush red or golden root veggie.  My favorite method of consumption?  Roasted.  Roasting brings out the sweetness in most vegetables but especially root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and beets.

Often I’ll bring home 2 or 3 bunches of local beets, clean them, roast them and store them in the frig.  When I need a quick side or salad, voila!

roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts

This salad is easy to prepare with ingredients that can be prepped in advance.  Not only is it delicious, it looks like art on a platter.  Which makes this the perfect holiday or winter salad.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet today.  Tank hasn’t had his morning run and he’s sitting at my feet staring at me with his “please take me for a walk” look.  And really, who could resist those terrier eyes.

Wishing you all things merry and bright this holiday season!

Loads of Love,


Winter Roasted Beet Salad

Serves about 6-8


About 6 medium size red or gold beets (or a mixture of both)

1 – 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 – 1 cup good quality crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (Rogue Creamery and Salemville have nice mid-range rice options that are quite delicious)

1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts (found in most markets, especially during the holidays.  However, I’ve given a quick recipe below)

Good quality Balsamic Vinegar (this is the time to break out the good stuff)

Good quality Olive oil, about 1/4 cup (I used California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive oil.  One word, divine!)


Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Wash the beets and trim just a bit.  Place in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap, tenting it a little.  Roast for about 45 minutes or until the beets can be pierced with a fork or knife.  I like my beets slightly undercooked, otherwise the texture tends to be a bit mushy.  So check them at 35 – 40 minutes.  Let the beets cool and then peel off the skins.  This is a colorful and messy job but well worth the effort.  If you are roasting the beets in advance, place the roasted whole beets in a Ziploc bag and pop them in the frig until they are ready to use.

Place the thinly sliced shallots in a small bowl and toss with a drizzle or two of balsamic vinegar.  I love the shallots marinated in the balsamic vinegar. Cuts the harshness of the shallot and adds extra balsamic flavor to the salad.  Let the sliced shallots hang out in the vinegar while you prepare the salad.

Slice the beets, not too thick, and layer them on a platter.  Dust lightly with a little sea salt.

Next, toss the marinated shallots over the beets.  Then sprinkle the beets and shallots with Gorgonzola and garnish with the chopped candied walnuts.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Serve immediately.

Option:  During the summer months, I add sliced or coarsely chopped cucumber to the salad for a little fresh, clean, crisp flavor.

Quick candied nuts

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Pinch of salt

In a heavy bottom pan over medium heat add the sugar.  Let the sugar melt.  Once melted, sprinkle the chopped nuts into the sugar and give it a stir.  Once the nuts look well coated pour them out onto wax paper to cool.  Sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt.  Break with a knife or by hand.





Karista's Kitchen Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Roasted Beet and Cucumber Salad

Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu Cheese

Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu Cheese

Today, my heart is filled with overwhelming appreciation.  Friends and family who share in my fear and anxiety, my sadness and hope.

Beautiful dishes of food, cookies, desserts and love arriving on my doorstep.  Meant to comfort and heal.

Phone calls, texts, emails, messages of well wishes, friendship, love.

My Tink

My Tink

Today, my heart is grateful.  Grateful my precious Tink is home with us, healthy and recovering.  She’s not the first adult child to be ill or endure a difficult surgery.  There are those who have suffered much more.   For this my heart grieves.

I wish I could write this post about something comical Tank has done this week.  Even he has been a bit somber.  Missing his girl, knowing something was different.  Giving her tons of kisses when she returned home and not wanting to leave her bedside until I insisted.

I’m sure no one needs reminding… life is messy.  It’s scary, it’s heartbreaking.  But it’s also glorious.  A reminder to cherish every moment.  Even when those moments are less than Norman Rockwell, or the prettiest, perfect blog.

Me and My Two Sassy Gals

Me and My Two Sassy Gals

You know the old saying “when it rains, it pours”.  It poured this week.  We endured.  Together. With love and friendship, generosity and kindness.

I am humbled and reminded… Life doesn’t just happen to me.  It happens around me.  To everyone who touches my heart.

I wish you all the best of health, love and happiness.

Loads of Love,


To Good Health and Happiness… A Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu

Serves 2


2 beets, roasted and sliced

1 cucumber, sliced (as much or as little as you like)

1/2 red onion sliced

Handful of Rogue Smokey Bleu

Balsamic Vinegar

Your favorite good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Place the sliced roasted beets on a plate, arrange however you like.  Layer the sliced cucumber on top of the beets, followed by a sprinkling of sliced red onion and a dash of smokey bleu.  Spritz with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Season with a pinch or two of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Enjoy with the ones you love 🙂