June 24, 2013

Pickled Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese Salad

I love the beet salad at General Greene with its blood red beets, arugula, grape tomatoes, pine nuts and dollops of goat cheese.  I also love their pickles which are made with local, seasonal vegetables and are bursting with enough sharp vinegar to make you cough and squint.  I also can't stop thinking about their Brownstone Old Fashioned, their fried chicken with hot sauce and their bacon mac and cheese, but that’s beside the point.  We always order both the salad and the pickles every time we eat there and I always wish that the beets in the salad were pickled as well.  So that’s how this Pickled Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese Salad was born.

Thanks to a friend of mine, I happened to have some homemade pickled beets in my fridge last weekend, so I went to my corner market to gather the rest of the ingredients and ran home to put it all together.  Every beet-stained forkful made me nod my head in agreement with myself that this truly is a damn good salad.  This salad doesn’t require a dressing because the vinegary beets, juicy tomatoes, creamy goat cheese and olive oil hang out together and coat everything along the way.  You should use simple pickled beets, not the aromatic kind made with cloves that, in my opinion, taste like potpourri.  If necessary, roast and pickle your own.  You don’t have to use all four herbs for the herbed goat cheese, although I think you should use at least two.  This is a brilliant salad to make for a dinner party, simple but impressive and full of contrasting flavors and textures.


Makes 1 entree or 2 appetizers

2 tablespoons goat cheese
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon EACH of finely chopped basil, mint, chives and tarragon
1 large handful arugula
4 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup pickled beets, quartered
1 teaspoons pine nuts, raw or toasted
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1.  In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and herbs until fully incorporated.

2.  Arrange the salad in one or two salad bowls by laying down the arugula, the tomatoes, small dollops of the herbed goat cheese and the pickled beets.  Drizzle the salad with olive oil.  Sprinkle with pine nuts, salt and pepper and serve immediately. 

You might also like:  Beet and Goat Cheese on Mini Baguette, Sauteed Beet Greens, Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, Arugula Fennel Apple Salad with Chives, Fig Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Baguette


  1. Soft white cheese and pickled beetroot is such a perfect combination. Like tomatoes and basil, butter and garlic, me and chocolate. Perfection.

  2. You said it Sarah! Matches made in heaven.