This healthy Warm Carrot Beet Spinach Salad has quickly become one of our cold weather favorites! GF + Vegetarian
While comfort reins supreme right now, this time of year I’m all about the root vegetables! In the next month or so I’ll be roasting a metric ton of them until salad season is back among us.
Of course it doesn’t need to be salad season to have a salad! This seasonal side celebrates cold weather produce, and is a welcome addition to the comfort food we’ve been spooning into our faces. Pair it with a hearty casserole to lighten up your spread or channel your very own Panera Bread with a soup-salad-sandwich combo of your choosing, all in the comfort of your own home. It’s also amazing with a side of chicken salad and a croissant.
There’s only one condition here: I want you to eat your beets!
I know a few of you have already run screaming into the other room, as is tradition whenever I drop a beet on this blog.
I get it. I didn’t like them either for a good 20 something years of my life… but if I can learn to love them, you totally can too!
Trust the food blogger that just ate cold pizza for breakfast.
What? It had veggies on it!
Ready for the recipe?! Let’s do this!
Warm Carrot Beet Spinach Salad with Pecans and Feta
As written this salad is vegetarian and gloriously gluten-free. Swap out the feta and use clarified butter for a dish that’s both paleo friendly and Whole 30 compliant.
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 2 medium beets
- 3 carrots
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 3 TBSP champagne or white wine vinegar
- 3 TBSP avocado oil, plus extra for sautéing
- 1.5 TBSP butter
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4-1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 2-4 TBSP crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 2-3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup spring mix or extra spinach
- honey to sweeten/glaze the carrots
- toasted walnuts or almonds
- roasted butternut squash
- fresh mint or arugula
- edamame, steamed and shelled
- Boil a medium pot of water and prep your veggies.
- Peel and slice the beets into 1⁄2-inch rounds on a paper towel-lined cutting board. Peel and slice the carrots into discs.
- Peel and mince the shallot, place in a medium bowl with the vinegar, and set aside.
- Add the beets to the pot of boiling water and cook until fork-tender, approx. 16 to 18 minutes,
- Drain thoroughly and immediately transfer to the shallot-vinegar mixture. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, add a drizzle of avocado oil and sauté your carrots until tender, approx. 4 minutes.
- While pan is still hot, add your water and butter and continue cooking until carrots are coated and mixture is slightly reduced, approx. 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped pecans and stir to coat.
- Next add your beet/marinade mixture to the pan. Mix.
- Serve over a bed of spinach and greens of your choosing. Top with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
- This warm winter salad is best enjoyed immediately, and can be further dressed up with a little extra oil or vinegar if desired, or a bit of all-natural bottled balsamic.
Recipe yields 2 large meal-sized salads or 4 small sides.
At the last minute I tossed a little parsley on top as a garnish. When I have a bunch of it handy I cannot be trusted around it. #itgoesoneverything - You can follow suit but it's 100% optional. We're all aware of my garnish obsession by now, right? lol
No beets? No problem! I've been out before and made this salad with just the spinach/carrot/pecan combo and it's still very much delish! It serves about 2 and you'll just want make a dressing out of the shallot/vinegar mixture since you won't be using it to marinate the beets. Add some oil and your choice of spices/extras and whisk it up to taste. An all natural store bought dressing may also be used.
Though it’s great all on it’s own as a healthy lunch, this salad makes a stellar side for a variety of proteins if needed. It’s great with grilled steak, roasted chicken, and would even be stellar alongside some crispy pan-fried tofu or chickpeas.
In a salad state of mind? Try my Cranberry Kale Quinoa Salad and Chickpea Chopped Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing recipes next! Delish!
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