Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Beets and citrus are a classic combination for a reason.
  • Pistachios and honey emulsify the dressing easily, while using grapefruit and orange juice boosts flavor.
  • Roasting the beets in a foil pouch concentrates flavor.

I'm all for innovation and wild and crazy ideas, but sometimes it's okay to find a winning formula and stick with it, especially when that time is dinnertime. There's a reason beets and citrus are a staple of winter salads: They go insanely well together. But within those constraints, there's pretty much no end to the combinations of salads you can make.

Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (1)

How to Customize a Beet Citrus Salad

It's safe to say that I rarely make the exact same beet and citrus salad twice. I'll swap out the beet variety, or the citrus, or the nuts. I'll add bitter greens or boiled eggs. I may add a creamy cheese, or maybe I'll spice and candy those nuts. This particular salad, made with roasted beets, grapefruit, oranges, fresh ricotta, and a pistachio vinaigrette, is not all that different from mybeet, citrus, and pine nut salad. You can criticize me for that. I'm okay with it.

I start by cooking a couple of different varieties of beets. There's more than one way to cook a beet, but I tend to prefer dry roasting methods over boiling—they come out with a more concentrated sweet and earthy flavor that way. Of all the methods I've tried, foil pouches work best. When you toss beets, a little oil, and a few herb sprigs in tightly sealed foil pouches, the beets end up cooking in their own vaporized juices, in a sort of steam–roast hybrid. Once they're roasted—which takes about an hour and a half of unsupervised time in a 375°F (190°C) oven—the skins slip off easily under cool running water. An hour and a half of roasting is a long time for a single salad, but luckily, that's a step you can do in advance. Just cool the beets and throw them in the fridge, and they'll be ready to go whenever you are.

Using Nuts in a Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette, I gently pound pistachios with a granitemortar and pestleuntil they're broken up, but not totally pulverized. You can also use a knife if you don't have a mortar and pestle. If you decide to go the knife route, take a five-minute break after chopping and consider what previous choices have led to your mortar-and-pestle-free existence, and what steps you might take in the future to ameliorate the situation.

The nice thing about including nuts in a vinaigrette is that the small particles of nut add extra agitation as you're whisking it together, which makes forming a stable emulsion really easy. I set aside some of the pounded pistachios for garnish, then whisk together the rest with minced shallots, lemon juice, honey, herbs, and extra-virgin olive oil. (Read up more onthe science of vinaigrettes and emulsions here.)

Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (2)

Preparing Citrus for a Salad

With the citrus, I'm honestly not all that picky. I do like the bittersweet flavor of grapefruit, but oranges or pomelos or even bits of Meyer lemon would do just fine. The key is to cut them properly so as to minimize the amount of stringy pith that gets into the salad. That means eithercutting the fruit intosuprèmes, or peeling and slicing it crosswise in order to keep those individual bits of pith short.

To boost the citrus flavor in the vinaigrette, I add to it the juice from whatever fruit I'm using as well.

When I'm ready to serve the salad, I cut all the beets into bite-size pieces—spraying your cutting board with a thin coating of nonstick spray will make cleaning up red beet juice much easier, by the way!—then toss them with the citrus and vinaigrette. The only real key here is to make sure to toss the red beets separately from everything else; otherwise, they end up turning the whole salad pink. Not the end of the world, but not as pretty on the plate.

After that, I spread a big spoonful of fresh ricotta cheese over the plate, pile on the beets and citrus, add a few more dollops of ricotta, drizzle any remaining dressing around, and then sprinkle it all with the remaining pistachios.

Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (3)

A great beet salad is sort of like watchingStar Wars, or waking up next to my wife, Adri, every morning: familiar, comforting, and exciting all at once.

February 2017

Recipe Details

Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe

Prep15 mins

Cook105 mins

Active30 mins

Total2 hrs

Serves4to 6 servings


  • 2 pounds (about 1kg) beets, unpeeled, greens removed, scrubbed clean

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)

  • Koshersalt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup toasted shelled pistachios (about 2 ounces; 55g)

  • 1 grapefruit,cut into suprèmes or wedges, 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice reserved separately

  • 1 orange, cut into suprèmes or wedges, 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice reserved separately

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 ounce; 30g)

  • 2 tablespoons (about 15g) minced fresh parsley, tarragon, or chervil

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) honey

  • 1 cup (200g) fresh ricotta


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Fold a 12- by 24-inch sheet of aluminum foil in half to form a square. Crimp 2 edges to form a pouch. Toss beets, 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, rosemary or thyme sprigs (if using), and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until beets are coated. Add to pouch and crimp remaining edge to seal. (If using multiple colors of beets, roast in separate pouches.) Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Roast until beets are completely tender and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into a beet through foil meets little to no resistance, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel by gently rubbing skin under cold running water. Cut beets into 1 1/2–inch chunks. Beets can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  2. Place pistachios in a mortar and pound with pestle until lightly crushed but not totally pulverized. (You can also chop them with a knife.) Transfer half of nuts to a large bowl and reserve the rest for garnish.

    Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (4)

  3. Add grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon juice, shallot, minced herbs, and honey to bowl with pistachios and whisk to combine. Drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil while whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. To Serve: Toss beets and citrus with vinaigrette in a large bowl (if using red beets, toss them separately from everything else) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread half of ricotta over a serving platter, place dressed beets and citrus on top, dollop with remaining ricotta, sprinkle with reserved pistachios, and serve.

    Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (5)

Special Equipment

Mortar and pestle, rimmed baking sheet

Read More

  • How to Roast Beets
Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe (2024)


Is cottage cheese and beets good for you? ›

Many times I make my 5 Minute Cottage Cheese and Beet Salad because it is high in protein, low in carbs, and has plenty of vegetables. I figured I would share one of my weekly lunch staples because I want you to see how easy, healthy, and delicious a mid-day meal can be.

How to make beet root salad? ›

Unwrap the beets and let them cool. Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing. When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.

How many carbs are in a roasted beet salad? ›

Calories in Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Sodium139.3 mg
Potassium330.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate9.6 g
Dietary Fiber2.8 g
8 more rows

Is Alia Bhatt beetroot salad healthy? ›

It is therefore a fantastic vegetable for weight loss. Per 100 g serving, beets include just 43 calories, 2.8 grammes of fiber, and 10 grammes of complex carbs. Among other health advantages, beet juice has been linked to increased blood flow and lowered blood pressure. Let's take a look at the delicious salad recipe.

How to eat beets for weight loss? ›

How to Eat Beetroot for Weight Loss?
  1. Beetroot juice: Beetroot juice is a low-calorie option. ...
  2. Use it as a natural food colouring: Beetroot can add natural colour to dishes like hummus, pasta sauce, and baked goods.
  3. Add sliced beetroot to your salads: Beetroot is an excellent addition to any salad.
Nov 30, 2023

How many times a week should you eat beets? ›

Moreover, beets are low in calories with zero cholesterol and a small amount of fat. However, the root is high in sugar and carbohydrates, so while you can consume the greens on top of the root in unlimited quantities, you should only have the root a few times a week. Beets are best from early spring to late fall.

Are beets anti inflammatory? ›

Beets are also rich in nitrates, which reduce inflammation by removing harmful compounds from your bloodstream. This combination of betalains and nitrates makes beets a great choice for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Is it OK to eat beets everyday? ›

Can you eat beets everyday? It's always best to follow a varied diet. Eating a small amount of beetroot every day is unlikely to do any harm, but a high intake could lead to low blood pressure, red or black urine and feces, and digestive problems for anyone with a sensitivity to the nutrients.

Is it better to roast or boil beets for salad? ›

The softest texture will be the boiled beets, the roasted beets will be tender, but will still have a little “bite” to them. The steamed beets will be somewhere in the middle. If using the beets in a salad, or serving them as a side dish, I prefer the roasted or steamed beets.

Why do you put vinegar in beets? ›

Beets are a weekly ritual around here. Usually we boil them and toss them in a sweet sour vinaigrette and keep them in the refrigerator to eat all week. The vinegar in the dressing "pickles" the beets, helping them last longer in the fridge.

Why do you put vinegar on beetroot? ›

Beets are naturally sweet and earthy, making them a versatile vegetable to incorporate into your meals. By adding vinegar to the boiling process, you can elevate the flavors of beets and give them a delightful tangy kick.

Can diabetics eat beet salad? ›

Are beets okay for a diabetes diet? Beets make a great addition to a diabetes diet not only because they are low in calories, but also since one cooked cup contains only 13g carbohydrate. Rich in fibre they can also help prevent surges in blood sugar levels.

Do roasted beets have a lot of sugar? ›

It's true that beets do have more sugars than many other vegetables—about 8 grams in a serving of two small beets. But that's hardly the same as getting 8 grams of sugars from a cookie. "Beets are high in fiber, which traps the sugar and slows its absorption into the bloodstream," Linsenmeyer says.

Is beet salad good for diabetics? ›

Beets are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that have proven health benefits for everyone. Consuming beets appears to be especially beneficial for people living with diabetes. Beets can help lower the risk of complications that may arise from an unmanaged condition, including nerve damage and eye damage.

How healthy is beetroot salad? ›

Beets are rich in folate (vitamin B9), which helps cells grow and function. Folate plays a key role in controlling damage to blood vessels, which can lower your chances of heart disease and stroke. Beets are naturally high in nitrates, which are turned into nitric oxide in the body.

How to consume beetroot for best results? ›

Sensitivity to light and heat

Some of the valuable ingredients beetroot contains are sensitive to light and heat. Therefore, you should use beetroot up as soon as possible after buying it. Beetroot is best eaten raw or consumed as juice so your body can best absorb the important nutrients it contains.

What is beetroot salad made of? ›

Directions. Stir grated beets, vinegar, oil, parsley, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Serve immediately or for best results, refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

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