Golden Beet Salad

This glowing dish comes to us from Will Burgess, Executive Chef of Amuse Restaurant at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It might be a bit more work than usual, what with pickling your own fruit and putting together a vinaigrette from scratch, but your guests will remember this golden beet salad forever.

Firefly Farms Seal


Roasted/Smoked Beets:

  • 2 lb each red and yellow beets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pickled Peaches:

  • 4 lb peaches (or other seasonal fruit)
  • 2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 pink peppercorns
  • 2 cloves

Paw Paw Vinegar:

Candied Pecans:

  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (to taste)

For the salad:



Wash red and yellow beets and place into separate roasting pans. Drizzle with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Place a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, cover with foil, and roast at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour, depending on size. To test for doneness, they should easily be pierced with a paring knife or fork.

Cool beets, and peel with a kitchen towel, while warm. This will ensure that the peels come off easily.

Smoked Beet Puree:

For the smoked beets, take red beets that are cooked, cut into 1″ dice, and smoke over apple and hickory wood for approximately 20-30 minutes. Cool, and puree with a 50/50 blend of water and maple syrup (just enough to allow the beets to liquify and become smooth). Typically for 4 red beets, a quarter cup of each will suffice.

Take the rest of the beets and slice into 8 pieces each.

Pickled Peaches:

Pierce the smaller fruits, and halve those that are larger. Place in a heat safe container. Combine all ingredients, except fruit, and bring to a boil. Cool completely. Pour over fruit and let sit, refrigerated, for at least one day, or overnight.

Paw Paw Vinegar:

Add all ingredients to blender except oil. Emulsify oil until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Candied Pecans:

Boil pecans in lightly salted water, for 2 minutes. Toss in the mixture of sugar and cayenne. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes at 350 degrees, or bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 225 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until dry.

To Build the Salad:

Toss 1 cup of red, 1 cup of yellow beets with paw paw vinaigrette, about 1/4 cup of baby arugula, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Schmear the plate with 3 tablespoons of smoked beet puree, and place dressed beets atop. Garnish with FireFly Farms Black & Blue goat’s milk cheese, a handful of candied pecans, and some sliced, pickled fruit.

Create Something Delicious

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