Beet, Apple, And Cranberry Salad Recipe

overhead view of salad with cutlery and salt
overhead view of salad with cutlery and salt - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

This beet, apple, and cranberry salad truly celebrates the festive red berry through two different preparations, pairing its explosive flavor with sweet ingredients that highlight its versatility. According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, unlike most cranberry salads, this recipe uses both fresh and dried cranberries. In this manner, the two preparations lend a balance of sweet and tangy flavors to the dish, complementing the natural sweetness of roasted beets and the refreshing texture of a firm, tart apple.

For those worried about the tart flavor of fresh cranberries overwhelming the salad, fear not! The sweetened vinaigrette serves to balance the berries, and they act more as an acidic element similar to lemon juice or red wine vinegar. All put together, this beet and apple salad with cranberries is a celebration of fall, combining opposing textures and bold flavors to create an iconic dish. Make it a part of your Thanksgiving spread, or pair it with roasted chicken and potatoes for an easy Sunday night dinner.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

Gather The Ingredients For Beet, Apple, And Cranberry Salad

ingredients for beet apple cranberry salad
ingredients for beet apple cranberry salad - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

The ingredients needed for this autumnal salad start with medium-sized beets. To roast them and to make the salad's dressing, you will need olive oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar, along with a dash of salt and pepper. We love using rosemary-infused apple cider vinegar, though plain apple cider vinegar will do just fine as well. For the rest of the salad, grab some baby arugula, firm apples, fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and tangy goat cheese. These will add sweetness, tartness, creaminess and body to the salad, giving it a variety of textures and layered flavors.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

oven set to 400 F
oven set to 400 F - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Wrap The Beets

adding oil to beet on foil square
adding oil to beet on foil square - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Wrap the beets individually in foil, drizzling each one with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Step 3: Transfer Beets To Baking Sheet

roasted beets in foil
roasted beets in foil - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Lay foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet.

Step 4: Roast Beets

roasted beets in foil
roasted beets in foil - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Transfer beets to the oven to roast for 45 minutes until tender. Depending on the size of the beets, you may need to roast them longer.

Step 5: Make The Dressing

making dressing
making dressing - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Make the vinaigrette by whisking ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, and honey with salt and pepper.

Step 6: Add Arugula

arugula in bowl
arugula in bowl - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Arrange arugula in a bowl.

Step 7: Top With Apples

apples on arugula
apples on arugula - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Top arugula with sliced apples.

Step 8: Add The Fresh Cranberries

slicing cranberries
slicing cranberries - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Thinly slice the fresh cranberries and add them to the salad.

Step 9: Peel The Beets

beet on paper towel
beet on paper towel - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

When beets are cool enough to handle, rub off skins with paper towel.

Step 10: Add Beets To Salad

slicing beets
slicing beets - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Slice beets into ½-inch thick slices. Add beet slices to the bowls.

Step 11: Add Dried Cranberries

adding cranberries to salad
adding cranberries to salad - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Sprinkle with dried cranberries.

Step 12: Add Pumpkin Seeds

adding pumpkin seeds to salad
adding pumpkin seeds to salad - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Step 13: Add Goat Cheese

adding goat cheese
adding goat cheese - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Crumble goat cheese over salad.

Step 14: Finish With The Dressing And Serve

drizzling sauce over salad
drizzling sauce over salad - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Can I Cook The Beets Using A Different Method?

eating salad with fork
eating salad with fork - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Beets are one of the base ingredients of this recipe, giving it body, sweetness, and earthiness. Our favorite method of cooking beets is by roasting them, which concentrates their sugars and makes their flavor more enhanced. Beets can also be cooked by boiling, or cooked sous-vide. However, all these methods require a long time, as beets are hardy and require a fairly lengthy process to soften.

To save time, you can turn to pre-cooked, vacuum-sealed beets which are widely available in the produce section of most supermarkets. If using vacuum-packed beets, skip through steps 2-5 and the peeling of the beets, and instead skip right to slicing the beets and adding them to the salad. This will significantly shorten the salad's prep process, eliminating the need to cook any ingredients and allowing you to put this salad together in a matter of minutes.

What Substitutions Can I Make To This Beet, Apple, And Cranberry Salad?

mixed salad with cutlery in bowl
mixed salad with cutlery in bowl - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Once you fall in love with this combination of ingredients, there are many things you can do to change up the salad based on your available ingredients or taste preferences. You can substitute the goat cheese with feta cheese or blue cheese. Marinated cheese curds may also work well here, giving the dish a special flavor. If looking to make this salad plant-based, you can use a vegan cheese replacement or avocados to give the salad a creaminess without using any dairy.

You can also swap out the cranberries for raisins or dried cherries, which will further enhance the salad's sweetness. The apples can be replaced with pears or fresh figs, which are also seasonal to fall. If using either of those, take care to choose under-ripe fruit that will not become mushy and fall apart. Outside of winter, feel free to use your favorite seasonal fruits. And finally, try using walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds for another classic flavor combination.

Can I Make This Beet, Apple, And Cranberry Salad Ahead Of Time?

mixed salad with cutlery in bowl
mixed salad with cutlery in bowl - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

While delicious when freshly made, the beauty of this salad is that it tastes just as good as it sits in the fridge. Therefore, you should feel free to make this salad ahead of time. You can fully assemble the salad up to 6 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to blend even more. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature to let the texture and taste of the cheese and beets come through even more.

You can also make the vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance and store it in the fridge. If looking to make the salad further ahead of time that one day, or to keep leftovers for a portable lunch, avoid adding the goat cheese until the last minute as the beets will bleed and discolor it, making it more watery and less creamy. With these simple adaptation, the salad can be made ahead of time and used as a portable lunch for work, a picnic or a potluck.

Beet, Apple, And Cranberry Salad Recipe

overhead view of salad with cutlery and salt
overhead view of salad with cutlery and salt - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 45mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 4 medium beets

  • 4 teaspoons + ¼ cup olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons rosemary-infused apple cider vinegar (or plain apple cider vinegar)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • salt, to taste

  • pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups baby arugula

  • 2 small apples, sliced

  • ¼ cup fresh cranberries

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Wrap the beets individually in foil, drizzling each one with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

  3. Lay foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet.

  4. Transfer beets to the oven to roast for 45 minutes until tender. Depending on the size of the beets, you may need to roast them longer.

  5. Make the vinaigrette by whisking ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, and honey with salt and pepper.

  6. Arrange arugula in a bowl.

  7. Top arugula with sliced apples.

  8. Thinly slice the fresh cranberries and add them to the salad.

  9. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins with a paper towel.

  10. Slice beets into ½-inch thick slices. Add beet slices to the bowls.

  11. Sprinkle with dried cranberries.

  12. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

  13. Crumble goat cheese over salad.

  14. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

  15. Serve beet, apple and cranberry salad immediately.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.