Welcome to the world of fall foods! It’s officially here (not really, but according to Pinterest, it is) and I couldn’t be happier about it. Fall has always been my favourite season. I love the idea of cool winds and crunchy leaves under foot and the idea of getting bundled up for long country walks.
But most of all it’s about the food, right? Apples, pears, plums… pretty much all the pumpkin spice you can handle and then there’s this… the autumn citrus beetroot and goat’s cheese salad. Warm, earthy beetroot, creamy goat’s cheese, crunchy and bitter leaves and the bright punch of citrus. The new lunch time normal.
My gigantic salad as a meal obsession is in full force right now. Mainly because all the baby beetroot are in season right now and we need them in our lives. And mainly because I’m not quite ready to let summer go just yet. The leaves are already changing and falling here and the nights are definitely getting colder, but Imma hang on to summer just a little longer, K? And right now this big beautiful citrus beetroot and goat’s cheese salad has one foot in summer and one foot very firmly in fall.
Okay. But beetroot. Let’s talk. These are so easy to roast. A little olive oil and some salt and pepper. Maybe a little tangle of thyme leaves. When I say “maybe”, I mean you really should do that. If you’re feeling fancy, then a drizzle of honey never hurt anyone, but it’s not required.
This salad, to be fair, is what you can class as early fall food. It’s warm and nourishing and will make you feel completely virtuous for eating it, but it’s not stick to your bones hearty. We’re just not really there yet. YET! See? Can you feel me clinging on to summer for dear life? Give it a couple of weeks here in the north west of England and we’ll be well into anything made in a slow cooker, and/or braised for days.
If you can’t find the colourful baby beetroot, not to worry. This salad will still be amazing with purple beetroot all the way through. Just be sure to cut them up so that they are still bite size.
Usually I think the most important element of any salad is the dressing, but that’s not quite the case here. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that the dressing is less important, it’s that all the other elements are hugely important. The goat’s cheese has got to be fresh and creamy. The oranges are perfect right now, but as we head further into winter, they’re gonna be even better when you can get blood oranges.
And for that all important crunch factor, you totally need the walnuts. Or change it up and use pine nuts. Both will be a serious “WOW” factor to this salad. But these walnuts can be plain or you can go BIG and candy them with some maple syrup. But take note… that would add some extra calories to the nutrition info, so be warned.
Besides this being the perfect September salad, it’ll be a perfect winter time salad for when you’ve bought way too many blood oranges (not that there’s such thing as too many!!!) and you need to use them STAT. Make this salad and you will feel like an autumn goddess.
Autumn Citrus, Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad
- 1 head of red chicory endive
- 1 large orange peeled and cut into slices
- 25 g 1/4 cup goats cheese crumbled
- 6 baby beetroot roasted and peeled
- handful of walnuts
For the vinaigrette
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- To roast the beetroot pre-heat the oven to 180c 375f.
- Drizzle the beetroot with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Wrap in foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, peel the beetroot and cut into quarters.
- Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and whisk well.
- Place all the salad ingredients on a serving platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette and scatter with the walnuts.
- Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a dinner or lunch