Italian Beet And Goat Cheese Salad

Salads always seem that bit more special when you are dining out. That was the case with the Italian Beet and Goat Cheese Salad that I used to order from the Crust.

I know that many of us loved the fresh taste and pleasing flavor combinations. The problem is that since Crust closed its doors, we are left trying to figure out how to recreate the dish at home. Thankfully, I think I have discovered a pretty good alternative.

How To Make This Much-Loved Salad

I found the following recipe on the Food Network website. It was created during an episode of their Everyday Italian’ show. This sounded like a pretty good starting point to me, so I tried it out. 

The recipe starts by mentioning that this is an arugula salad with walnuts, cranberries, goats cheese, and beets. Those of us that fondly remember this Italian Beet and Goat Cheese Salad from Crust will recall that this is not correct. 

Arugula and cranberries were not part of the mix. There are two options when making this salad at home. You can either select the authentic ingredients to try and recreate the restaurant’s classic meal or experiment with a twist. 

The original Crust salad was advertised as containing the following list of simple ingredients:

  • Fresh greens
  • Beets
  • Local goat cheese
  • Candied walnuts
  • A honey balsamic vinaigrette

You could also add chicken for an extra $2 back then, so there is no harm in adding a little protein.  When we combine this list of ingredients with the method and seasonings from the Giada De Laurentiis Recipe we get the following:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • One tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Six medium beets, cooked and quartered
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely broken

These Food Network recipes also included three tablespoons of thinly sliced shallots, a cubed avocado, 6 cups of that arugula, and a ¼ cup of dried cranberries

I have not added these elements to my dish, but they could add an exciting twist. The cranberries and avocado are simply added on top for a broader range of flavors and a bit of color. 

So How Does It All Come Collectively To Create That Dish We Love So Much?

This salad is pretty easy to make with minimal preparation time. The only cooked element is the sliced beets. Blend the vinegar, honey, and oil to create your vinaigrette and season with the pepper. 

Then add the beets to get a good coating and bake them at 450 degrees F until caramelized. This should take around 12 minutes, but I find its best to check at 10. 

You can prepare the additional elements while the beets are cooling and then sprinkle them on top while serving. The presentation is entirely up to you.

That is all there is to this take on Crust’s infamous Italian goat cheese and beet salad. Once you should have the basics down, you can continue to tweak it to recreate that restaurant’s taste or experiment further. For other great starter or side recipes click here.