Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

Raspberry vinaigrette brightens this scrumptious starter

Beets have a thing for goat cheese. So let’s throw them together, we say.

Add some mint, drizzle on raspberry vinaigrette – and you’ve got a dish that sings with savor and flavor. One that’s easy to make, too. Great for stressless entertaining.

Which is perfect this time of year. Because on a hot summer evening, you don’t want dinner to turn into a goat rodeo.


Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

Recipe: Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

We made the vinaigrette for this salad with homemade Raspberry Shrub syrup. If you don’t have your own home-brewed version on hand, you can find commercial shrub syrups online. Or just substitute raspberry or balsamic vinegar (if using the latter, one flavored with raspberries would be ideal).

This dish tastes best if put together right before serving. But you can prepare all the ingredients hours ahead of time, then combine them at the last minute.

You’ll need to cook the beets for this recipe (that takes about 30 minutes), and then let them chill for an hour or so. It will take about 10 minutes to prep all the other ingredients – you can do that while the beets are cooking. Final assembly time is about 5 minutes.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons raspberry Shrub Syrup (may substitute raspberry or balsamic vinegar; if so, use about 1 tablespoon) 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 5 to 6 grinds black pepper
  • 2 or 3 pinches of kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
  • 3 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese (one of those little logs is about the right size)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
Procedure
  1. Cut the leaves off the beets, leaving an inch or so of stalk attached. Do not cut the root ends. Scrub the beets, then add them to a cooking pot filled with cold water. Place the pot on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beets become tender. This usually takes about 30 minutes, but start checking after 20 minutes – they’re done when a fork goes in with just a bit of resistance. If in doubt, it’s better to undercook the beets for this dish. (If you’d rather cook the beets in the oven, we give instructions for doing so in the Notes.)
  2. While the beets are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette: Add the raspberry shrub (start with just 1 tablespoon) and the olive oil to a small jar or bowl that has a lid. Peel the shallots and mince them finely, then add them to the olive-oil mix. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Place the lid tightly on the mixing jar, then shake the mixture vigorously until well combined. Taste, and add more shrub if necessary (we generally end up using about 2 tablespoons), and adjust the seasoning. Cover the container and refrigerate the vinaigrette until ready to use.
  3. Cut the goat cheese into chunks of ¼ inch or a bit larger. Place the cheese in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Wash the mint, but don’t chop it yet. We usually put the mint stems in a glass of water (like a bouquet) to keep the mint fresh. We leave ours on the kitchen counter, but you could refrigerate it if you want.
  5. When the beets are finished cooking, drain them in a colander placed in the sink. Then run cold water over them to stop the cooking and help cool them down. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them (beets stain, so we suggest wearing gloves). The skins usually peel off easily by hand, but use a vegetable peeler if necessary.
  6. Cut the remaining stems and roots off the beats. Then chop the beets into dice of about ½ inch, and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  7. When ready to serve the salad, add the cooked and chilled beets to a mixing bowl. 
  8. Remove the leaves of mint from their stems, and chop the leaves coarsely. Add half the mint leaves to the beets (reserving the rest for Step 10).
  9. Shake the vinaigrette again to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed, then add it to the beets. Toss together with the mint.
  10. Plate the beets. Add chunks of goat cheese to each plate. Sprinkle remaining mint on top, and serve.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

Notes
  • We strongly recommend using fresh mint in this dish (its flavor is magical). Dried mint won’t work well, alas. If you don’t have mint, try fresh basil or parsley. 
  • Do taste the vinaigrette as you’re making it, and adjust the amount of shrub (or vinegar) to your preference. Also adjust the amount of salt and black pepper to taste – we’ve given quantities that work for us, but your taste buds are your own. 
  • For an extra pop of flavor in the vinaigrette, you can add a teaspoon or two of Dijon-style mustard.
  • If you prefer to oven-steam the beets: Wash and trim the beets, then wrap each one in foil. Place in a 400-degree F oven and cook until just tender – about 40 minutes.
  • BTW, cooking time for beets does depend somewhat on size – smaller ones cook faster. When buying beets, try to find ones that are more or less equal in size. That way, they’ll all be done at around the same time.
  • Outside of North America, beets are usually called “beetroot.” 
  • We like the deep purple beets, but you can also find golden beets. 
  • As noted above, beets (at least the purple ones) can stain. So wear disposable gloves when preparing them.
  • The color in beets doesn’t break down in your digestive system. So it can color your urine and stool. Just so you know.
  • Beets usually are sold with their greens. If the beets are young, you can use the greens raw in a salad. Otherwise, cook them as you would spinach (or other greens). 
  • In the US, beets are available in supermarkets throughout the year. They’re at their best, though, from late spring until early fall.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint

The Beet Goes On

“We got the beet!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And the goat cheese too.”

“Yup, this salad is in mint condition,” I said.

“And it’s wearing a raspberry beret,” said Mrs K R.

“Would you like another helping, my little chèvre?” I said.

“Give me the beet, boy,” said Mrs K R.

“That comment got my goat,” I said.

“Better stop this,” said Mrs K R. “Before our readers tell us to beat it.”

You may also enjoy reading about:
Berry Shrub and Shrub Syrup
BLT Pasta with Goat Cheese
Roast Strawberry Salad
Spinach Salad with Parmesan
Hungarian Cucumber Salad
Pineapple, Coconut, and Carrot Salad
Strawberry-Chipotle Soup with Mint
Summer Pea Soup with Mint
Or check out the index for more

106 comments:

  1. LOVE this salad, John! I love beets and goat cheese so much and even better together! I bet this is earthy and tangy with a hint of sweetness from the raspberry vinaigrette and a pop of freshness from the mint! This is my favorite kind of salad. Thanks so much for sharing it! :)

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    1. Hi Anne, this is a winner! Such a nice combo of flavors. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Love the idea of using the shrub syrup instead of the usual balsamic vinegar in this salad.

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    1. Hi Pamela, when we made the shrub syrup, this was one of the dishes I had in my sights! Thought it'd work well, and it really did. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. I always thought I hated beets but recently I have had them at multiple restaurants and fallen in love. I actually think this salad would also be good warm with the beets soaking up the vinaigrette.

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    1. Hi Laura, you can do a warm version of this! We did a chilled one because, well, summer. :-) But warm beet salads are wonderful. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. We love beets and this is on my must try list. Sounds pretty tasty with the shallots and mints. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Pam, this is a wonderful salad. Beets are great, aren't they? SO much flavor. And they're pretty! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Perfect timing! I just bought some raspberry balsamic vinegar with thoughts of a beet salad and here you are with a recipe so I don't have to go searching for one!
    Thanks! This looks wonderful, John!

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    1. Hi Nazneen, raspberry balsamic and beets is a good pairing. And with goat cheese, superb. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. HUGE fan of beets and goat cheese ... get lost in it kind of good! Love this salad, John!

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    1. Hi Judy, yeah, we get lost in that pairing too. SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. This is one of my favorite salads, beets and goat cheese. I have not made a shrub yet but is sounds wonderful. :)

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    1. Hi Pat, shrub syrup is so versatile! Wonderful in this. Although raspberry balsamic/vinegar would be good too. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Lets play the game NEVER HAVE I EVER.

    Never, have I ever... Eaten a BEET before!

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    1. Hi GiGi, beets are ambrosia. Really worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Gorgeous salad and filling for sure. The color is so summery and love the touches with mint and raspberry vinaigrette. I like the idea of the Dijon mustard too! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, isn't this a nice salad? And SO pretty! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Beets and goat cheese are perfect togfether, beautiful salad John, love the touch of mint.

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    1. Hi Cheri, we really love that combo! So much so, that even though we often prepare it at home, we can never resist ordering it when we see it on a restaurant menu. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I would love this, but unfortunately I live with and cook for a beet-detester. After you cook the beets, the cooking water makes a divine cold beet borscht if you add some lemon and a tiny bit of sugar & salt, clarify it with an egg white, chill, and serve it with sour cream (and in some cases hot boiled potatoes in the cold borscht). I hope you didn't just pour it down the sink.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, I'll have to try your borscht! We'll actually be doing a cold borscht soon, probably late this month. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I love beets, I love goat cheese, and I love the dialogue you have with Mrs. Kitchen Riffs . It makes me smile. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, we have a lot of fun with those endings. :-) Beets are wonderful, aren't they? One of my favorite veggies. Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I'm a beet fan and think this looks fabulous! I had a salad for lunch at a restaurant that was beautiful with wild arugula, beets and watermelon radish. And now you're reminding that I need to use more beets in my salads. Goat Rodeo? Too funny.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, I like the idea of watermelon radish and beets! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. This recipe reminds me of Sonny and Cher's song "The Beat Goes On"- quite a nice little song! Your recipe combines new flavors I hadn't thought about before- goat's cheese, mint and beets- NICE!

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    1. Hi Fran, while writing this I read up on that song. Kind of a natural association. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Beet and goat's cheese = a match made in heaven! xx

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    1. Hi Liz, isn't that a wonderful combo? Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Dear John,
    Great post! Seems you and I have beets on the brain...What is better than beets with mint and the goat cheese. I remember when I was young my mom grew mint outside in the yard. She would make this beets salad that had onions, and white vinegar and the mint. She would tell me to go outside and pick the mint leaves. I loved that as my hands lingered with the aroma of the mint. Your recipe sounds just fab. Have to try this...I love your tips and love Mrs. K Riffs comments with you. These are great. Thanks for sharing..
    Have a good week...
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie, we grow a ton of mint in our yard, too. Grows like a weed! Our beets didn't do much in our garden this year, alas. So these are store bought. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. For all the things I love to eat, I have to count goat cheese as one thing I do not. Try as I may, I just haven't learned to like it. Now, having said that, I love beets and bleu cheese, so I hope you don't mind if I do a little adjustment. Your photo looks so tempting, on second thought I just might have to give it a try.

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    3. Hi Karen, I'll bet blue cheese would be wonderful in this! Have you ever had a blue goat cheese? Sensational stuff. Of course, you have to like goat cheese first . . . :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Your posts always bring a smile John! I'm thinking this would also be a great salad for a light summer lunch. What I really like is that all the components can be made ahead and plated when it's time to eat.

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    1. Hi Deb, isn't this a nice dish? SO much flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I need to pick up some beets at our farmers' market this weekend. I've yet to make a beet salad this summer and you've inspired me. I love beets with goat cheese and your dressing sounds like the perfect finishing touch!!

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    1. Hi Liz, this was the first time we had beets this summer, too. Can't imagine why we didn't have any earlier! Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Just beat it...Beet it...Can't wait to eat it! (Best I could do on short notice!)

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    1. Hi Abbe, LOL! Pretty good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I just love how delicious and flavorful this salad is. Looks so beautiful too. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Hi Kushi, this really is a wonderful salad -- SO much flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Beetroot and goat cheese really do have a bangin relationship, all kinds of awesome are bound to happen when you add raspberry syrup and mint into the mix. I am wanting to make a beet relish, will grab a few extra and make this bad boy for sure. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Anna, I haven't made a beet relish is forever! Need to do that again. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I l-l-l-ove beet salad. I order one whenever I see it on a menu, but have never made one for myself. High time I changed that.

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    1. Hi Jeff, this is one of those things I order in restaurants all the time, too. Always curious to see what kind of spin someone else puts on beet salad. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I'm always laughing when I finish your posts, John. I love the banter between you and Mrs. Riffs. This is a great salad with a fantastic ingredient combo. LOVE it!

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    1. Hi Robyn, we do enjoy writing those endings! :-) And this is a wonderful salad -- so flavorful. Thanks for the comment.

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  24. My favorite combo with beets is goat cheese. In fact I just roasted some yesterday. Love this dish! I've never had it with mint but will definitely try it.

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    1. Hi Vicki, this dish is extremely nice without the mint, but mint adds another dimension. Definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. A perfect trifecta of flavors. I never tire of goat cheese-beet salad, especially with the freshness of mint.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, yup, we never tire of this combo either. Good, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I could literally eat this salad for breakfast lunch and dinner.

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    1. Hi Sue, we could too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Beautiful. I love that you cubed the beets - so pretty! They do have a thing for goat cheese, don't they?!!

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    1. Hi Mimi, beets and goat cheese do pair exceptionally well. Mint, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. I think that this could be a great lunch for me. Great mix of texture and flavor. (You and Mrs. Riff should go on the road -- the new George and Gracie Burns?)

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    1. Hi Rosemary, we do enjoy writing those endings. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Such an awesome post! I love using beets in my recipes and this beet and goat cheese combo sound heavenly. Loving it! Can't wait to give it a go! :)

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    1. Hi Anu, we love beets! And you can't beat the combo of beets and goat cheese. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. The salad is so easy to make and looks colorful and delicious.I adore beetroot. Raspberry syrup adds an extra layer of flavor… just delicious!

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    1. Hi Rahul, we're all about easy! :-) This really is delish -- and totally worth making. Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Actually I'd love to be invited to a goat rodeo! I hope they server this salad too. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, Lol! Any goat rodeo we'll have, this will be on the menu. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. What a lovely salad, John! I couldn't agree more...beets and goat cheese are made for each other. This is just perfect for a summer supper!

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    1. Hi Hannah, isn't this a wonderful combo? Just love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I really like beetroots. I don't like to peel them and get my hands coloured, but I love the flavour. Great recipe!

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    1. Hi Marta, these do stain, don't they? I always wear disposable gloves, but they're still messy. Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I have a thing for goat cheese and beats. Love the idea of this dressing!

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    1. Hi Debra, it's a great combo, isn't it? Can't beat it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. This definitely does look to be in mint condition! And yes, in our neck of the woods, these gems are called beetroot. This salad has a lot of wonderful ingredients that all works so very well together. I know you could eat this on it's own but I'd love to pair it with some Sprint lamb xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, this would be WONDERFUL with lamb! Great pairing! Thanks for the comment.

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  36. this is something i'd like to try. thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hi Peachy, this is definitely worth trying -- such nice flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  37. I was very surprised what a nice touch adding the mint was. I really enjoyed the taste it gave the salad. Thank for the recommendation. Just discovered your blog and its great.

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    1. Hi Scott, isn't the touch of mint nice? We love its flavor! And of course it grows like a weed at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. We're heading back to the city tomorrow so I'm definitely going to stop at a farmers' market to buy beets, this salad is right up my alley. And it's simplicity allows all of the gorgeous flavours to compliment each other. I do adore beets and goats cheese, such an elegant combination. I just love the colours in this dish, John. Nicely done. The unusual effect of eating beets has been nicely communicated. I have been significantly frightened on more than one occasion when I have completely forgotten that crazy fact!
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Eva, I've forgotten that unusual effect on more than one occasion, too. :-) And I just love beets -- so pretty, and wonderful flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  39. This is a beautiful salad. We just got some really lovely golden beets at the farmers' market and I've been wondering how we will eat them.... :-)

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    1. Hi Amy, now you know. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I haven't had beets for a while - I need to make this one soon. Love the idea of a good balsamic with the fresh mint and shallot. Great color and wonderful flavor combinations. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Tricia, beets have outstanding color, don't they? Love them! Thanks for the comment.

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  41. I hadn't had beets in a while but just made a salad with it yesterday. This is great though, more like a fruit salad. I'm excited to give it a go!

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    1. Hi Mary, this does rather remind one of a fruit salad, doesn't it? Wonderful flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  42. Beets and goats cheese is such a perfect combination

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    1. Hi Raymund, this is one of those combos that we never tire of! Nor can get enough of. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  43. I love eating salads as a main during summer and this one is right up my alley! The mint gives so much flavor and aroma!

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    1. Hi Katerina, we eat tons of salads at this time of the year. Too hot to eat anything else. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. This really looks delicious although I do not like beets and I cannot tolerate goat cheese hehehehe, but I can always find subs. I am really thinking of making this with feta but the beets have to be there.

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    1. Hi Amira, feta would be really nice in this. Hard to make without the beets, though. :D Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Hi John,

    This salad loaded with summer colours is so lovely and I like the idea of adding raspberry syrup in this vinaigrette. So ultra summery!

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, isn't the color of this great? And the flavor is SO nice! Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Great combination! It took me awhile to adjust to the idea of using mint on a regular basis and now I use it all the time. Love it with beets in a smoothie, too.

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    1. Hi Lydia, we put mint in everything -- mainly because we have tons of it! It really grows like a weed. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  47. This is a gorgeous salad! I bet I could even get my hubby to eat the beets!

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    1. Hi Kristi, isn't this pretty? And really, really good! Even people who think they hate beets like this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. One of my favorite salads and I like that you added the mint and raspberry flavors to your salad…nice combination.

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    1. Hi Karen, don't you love this salad? Beets have such wonderful flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  49. Big fan of beets here, John, and this salad sounds delicious. I've not used much mint -- unless it's found in my mint julep. Mint just wasn't used in our home but tHis seems the perfect way to give it a try. While I'm at it, I'll give these "shrubs" a try, too. I've been using citrus-flavored balsamics but shrubs are new to me. I've so much to learn.
    Thanks, Teach. :)

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    1. Hi John, we use mint a lot because we grow it, and it grows like a weed! Have to think of new ways to use it. :-) You'll like shrubs -- really good stuff. Thanks for the comment.

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  50. I love the combination of beet, goat cheese and somehow fruity dressing...this one with the raspberry shrub just look perfect...perfect combination John!

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    1. Hi Juliana, beets and goat cheese pair so well! And the dressing on this is terrific. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  51. Love the colours of this salad .Beets and Goats Cheese sound a wonderful combination Must give this a go

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    1. Hi Sophia, definitely worth giving this a try! Wonderful flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  52. Wow, this is one of a couple of recipes I've seen pairing fresh, cooked beets with goat cheese! I've never cooked beets, but I like them from the can. LOL Guess I need to get on the fresh beet box and I can't wait to try this gorgeous salad! Great post, John y'all are so cute!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, fresh beets are wonderful! Better than the canned -- you'll like. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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