Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Avocado, Oranges, Red Onion and Toasted Pine Nuts Recipe – Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party

Wow, is that a mouthful or what.  Alright now those of you who, like me, say you don’t like beets or you’ve never had them please keep reading.  I had never eaten or cooked beets before creating this recipe but I said I would make the salad course for our Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party.  This salad came to me as I was falling asleep the other night and I was hoping it would taste as good as I imagined it would look.  Well I hope this looks great because that’s how it tasted.

The beets have a mild sweet taste that pairs really well with the creaminess of the avocado, the bite of the greens, the crunch of the nuts and the sweet citrus of the orange.  It was like a little party in my mouth.

Now that I’ve eaten roasted beets I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a try.  This was an easy salad to make but it can be messy if you don’t wear gloves and keep a wet cloth on hand.   Make sure you check out the notes at the end for a few options.  I hope you will give this a try even if it’s something new.  Don’t you think this makes a great colorful presentation for an Easter dinner?  If you make this please take a picture and send it in.  I’d love to share your creations.

Next on the stop for our Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party is Katrina from Gluten Free Gidget with our main course.  On Thursday Shirley from gluten free easily will be serving a side dish and on Friday she will be serving our dessert.  If you missed the Deviled Eggs appetizer yesterday please visit Shirley for that recipe and make sure you read the story of the plate.

This recipe will make 4 plates as shown.

This recipe was shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays.


1-2 Organic yellow beets roasted, peeled and sliced

1-2 Organic red beets roasted, peeled and sliced

1 cup water

2 slices of red onion

1 organic avocado sliced

2 orange cut into segments

4 handfuls of frisee

1 handful of watercress

4 tsp toasted pine nuts

juice from orange

9 tsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 tsp Sherry Vinegar

Celtic Sea Salt and white pepper to taste


Scrub the beets and cut off greens.  Now I’ve heard you can cook those greens like you would spinach but this was my first time with beets so maybe next time I’ll give that a try.  If you have cooked beet greens please share your experience.

Now you want to keep the yellow beets seperated from the red beets or your will only have red beets.  Toss the yellow beets with 1 tsp oil and 2 tsp sherry vinegar first, then the red beets next.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil and make a little ridge with the foil to seperate the beets.  Make sure you pull up the sides and create corners with the foil to hold in the liquids.  Place the red beets on one side and the yellow beets on the other side.  Add a total of 1 cup of water to the tray.  If you have the same amount of beets on each side then just divide it evenly.  Cover with foil, seal the edges and bake for 60-75 minutes.  You can test the beets with a fork.  It will not be the same consistency as a baked potato but the fork will move into the beet when cooked.

Once the beets have cooled put on gloves to peel them.  If you don’t you will look like a dyed Easter egg which may stay on you until next Easter.  Peeling a roasted beet is super easy.  I used the edge of a tablespoon and just scraped the skin right off.  I then placed it onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper to keep my cutting board from getting stained.

Cut each beet into 1/4 inch slices.  Make sure you wipe down the knife before changing colors.  Segment the orange (over the bowl you’ll mix the dressing into), slice the avocado and red onion and wash up the frisee and watercress.    For a good representation on how to segment an orange visit Vegan Yum Yum’s post on Making Pretty Orange Segments, AKA Supreming.

I like to squeeze any extra juice from the orange membranes and any that got cut away in the skin, into the bowl.   Add in 4 tsp of sherry vinegar and 8 tsp of organic extra virgin olive oil.  Whip it with your whisk until it emulsifies.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  That means taste it before you pour it over you salad so you know you like the taste.

For the presentation I started with a bed of frisee.  Then I added the avocado and orange segments.  Next came the sliced beets topped with the red onions, pine nuts and watercress.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.


Do not assemble this salad until just before serving.  The red beets will bleed onto the yellow beets and avocados.

For a less formal presentation you can cut the beets separately into chunks along with the avocado.  Also you can cut the orange segments in half.  Start with the frisee but into the center place the two colors of beets.  You could have red on one side and yellow on the other or add them randomly.  Around that center circle place your cut up avocados and oranges.  Sprinkle the red onions, pine nuts and watercress on top and drizzle with the dressing.

If you eat dairy small pieces of goat cheese would be a great addition to this salad or if you prefer feta.

If you are not a fan of pine nuts feel free to leave them out but I would still add something in for that crunch factor.   Walnuts would be a good option.

One last thought, you could always use a separate pan for each color of beets so the colors don’t run together when you roast them.

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22 Responses to Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Avocado, Oranges, Red Onion and Toasted Pine Nuts Recipe – Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party

  1. gfe--gluten free easily March 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Well, that does look totally amazing … I can’t imagine a better salad presentation. Seriously. I am phobic about beets though. We shoud have done this together so I could get over my beet phobia with a buddy. 😉

    Okay, off to update my link and then go to bed! I’ll be sorry in the morning …


    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

      Shirley- OK, time to give beets a try. They taste so good roasted. If I can get over my fear of them anyone can. Must have been some funky beet recipes going around when we were kids or maybe you really are my sister. 🙂

  2. Katrina (gluten free March 23, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    I was planning on making beets tonight for the first time and would have made a complete mess and stained my entire kitchen!!! Thank you so much for this perfectly timed tutorial!

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

      Katrina- So how did your beets turn out? It's amazing how much color those little veggies put out. I think you could dye some Easter eggs with the liquid!

  3. Aubree Cherie March 23, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Nature has so many bountiful colors; you've displayed it so beautifully!

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

      Aubree- Thank you so much.

  4. Vee March 23, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Hmmm. I had beets on the mind yesterday as well! However, mine were used in a GF Chocolate Beet Cake. I could have used pointers on how not to get red beet color all over my hands and kitchen utensils. Thankfully it washed off quite easily! [The cake turned out quite yummy.]

    This salad looks and sounds fantastic. I've never seen the yellow beets for sale locally though. They are pretty, too! Thanks for the explicit assemblyinstructions for this salad you made. Very helpful!

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

      Vee- I like the sound of that cake. I'll have to give that a try for sure. I really like the yellow beets. If you start asking your grocer for them, they might start carrying them. Sometimes they can also check to see if they can special order them.

  5. Jenn March 23, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Beautiful! I love how you just made a simple dressing so that the rich flavors would stand out – great directions on assembling such a pretty dish!

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

      Jenn- Thank you. I love that dressing because it's fast, easy and simple but brings out the flavor of vegetables beautifully.

  6. Laurie @ DomesticPro March 23, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    I enjoy salads like this! Beets are one of my favorite veggies. I roast mine without water though at 400 degrees and rub with a paper towel to peel. Yes, the beet greens are great. Saute just like Swiss chard.

    I'm hungry 🙂

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

      Laurie- Thanks for the tip of the paper towel to get the skin off. It does come off easily. OK, sounds like I need to saute up those greens next time.

  7. Alta March 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    This just about could be my most favorite recipe you've ever posted. It looks gorgeous. I'm drooling.

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

      Alta- Why thank you. I was very excited how good this turned out for something I dreamed up. Can't wait to eat it again.

  8. Hallie @ Daily Bites March 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Beautiful salad! I love beets but don’t cook with them all that often because of the long roasting time and the staining factor…but this recipe looks like a “must try.” Normally I just shred them like carrots and add them raw to salads and collard wraps. One of my favorite quick ways to use beet greens is simply sauteing them in a bit of olive oil with a generous amount of chopped garlic and some crushed red pepper flakes.

    • Diane March 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

      Hallie- Thank you so much. I actually like that it took an hour to cook. It gave me time to prep the other ingredients and have a glass of wine. 🙂 I like the idea of adding it to salads too. I'll have to give that a try, thanks!

  9. gfe--gluten free easily March 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    LOL I know it’s the latter, Diane. 😉


  10. Wendy March 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    What a beautiful photo of what sounds to be a very tasty dish! I love all root veggies roasted now, even beets! Found that out at Christmas!
    I agree with you and Shirley, beets were nasty when I was a kid!!LOL!

    Have a wonderful Easter!

  11. Linda March 27, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I'm not a fan of beets, but they sure do look lovely! Thanks for sharing this on Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

  12. Chef Edward January 18, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    Beet Greens are a wonderful vegetable. Try sauteing them or steaming them

  13. Chef Edward January 18, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    You can peel beets with a paper towel. to keep your cutting board clean, try spraying a thin film of non stick cooking spray on your cutting board, then cutting your beets. the oil prevents the juice from staining the board.


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