Classic roasted beet salad is leveled up with a tangy, sweet and creamy Medjool date citrus vinaigrette. Medjool dates add natural sweetness and create a velvety smooth vinaigrette which works beautifully against earthy beets in this dish. This recipe is colourful, flavorful, easy to make and nutritious; perfect for summer, fall or winter.
This post is sponsored by Natural Delights Medjool Dates.
A new take on roasted beet salad
Roasted beet salad isn't a novel idea, however, it's made into something exceptional with the right vinaigrette! Beet roots have a very distinct earthy taste and their flavour needs balancing with sweetness and some acidity. To achieve this, citrus and Medjool dates are added to a simple vinaigrette which provides the perfect amount of natural acidity and sweetness this recipe needs.
I love it when I can combine sweet and savory flavours together in a dish and usually opt for natural sweeteners whenever possible; Medjool dates have been my go to natural sweetener for years.
Why you will love this recipe
Salt roasted beets and crisp greens pair beautifully with this naturally sweet and smooth Medjool date citrus vinaigrette. This recipe is flavorful, balanced, and really takes your everyday roasted beet salad up a notch. It also makes extra Medjool date citrus vinaigrette so you can use it on all your favourite salads (you’ll want to).
This recipe is:
- Refreshing yet hearty
- Sweet, tangy and salty
- High in fiber
- Easy to make
- Vegan friendly
- Refined sugar-free
What are Medjool dates?
You may not have heard of Medjool dates, so let me introduce you to this versatile and nutritious ingredient. Medjool dates are a tropical stone fruit that grow on a date palm. They contain a single pit in the middle surrounded by sweet soft flesh.
Unlike typical dried dates or deglet noor dates, Mejool dates are a fresh fruit that is darker in colour, larger, and have a subtle caramel flavour. Medjools work well in both sweet and savory dishes and can be used in a number of ways.
Medjool dates for flavor and texture
There are quite a few reasons why Medjools work so well here. Primarily, and as mentioned above, Medjool dates are naturally sweet. Instead of using refined sugar to balance out the acidity of the vinegar and citrus in this vinaigrette, Medjools look after this perfectly.
Secondly, Medjool dates have a soft buttery texture that blends well and creates a velvety and creamy texture in this vinaigrette. Finally, not only are Medjool dates delicious, they are really nutritious with 16 essential vitamins and minerals and dietary fiber.
Side note, if you’re like me and you enjoy nibbling while you cook, Medjool dates are a great healthy snack while you work in the kitchen!
Why I love Natural Delights® Medjool Dates
Natural Delights Medjool Dates are non-GMO fresh fruit straight from nature! I’ve enjoyed Natural delights for many years and consider them a staple in our home.
During their growing season, Natural Delights bathe in sunshine and are nourished by the Colorado River in Southern California’s Bard Valley. Medjool dates demand very defined growing conditions (high heat, low humidity and plentiful water) all of which are found in the Bard Valley.
As an avid gardener and supporter of sustainability, I love knowing that Natural Delights are also grown as sustainably as possible. The palm trimmings, fronds, and thorns generated by growing and harvesting their Medjools are turned into a mulch that helps fertilize their groves. They are also increasing the amount of organic growing acreage every year.
Natural Delights Medjools are grown without the use of pesticides and are also additive-free; what you see is what you get. Bottom line, Natural Delights are an ingredient I feel good about using in my home.
What you will need for this recipe
The ingredients for this recipe are fairly straightforward and can be found year round at your local grocer. To make this recipe, you will need:
- Medjool dates
- Dijon mustard
- miso paste
- red wine vinegar
- whole fresh beets
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh salad greens
How to make this recipe
The roasted beet salad and vinaigrette come together with minimal time and effort. The most time consuming portion of this recipe is preparing the beets for roasting. In sum, you will need roughly 45-50 minutes to make this recipe, 30 minutes of that is for roasting the beets.
The first step is to make the vinaigrette which involves blending all the ingredients together until smooth. The vinaigrette needs to be refrigerated while the remainder of the recipe is prepared.
Next, peel and stem the beets and slice them into 8 wedges (or quarters if your beets are small). The wedges should be roughly one inch thick.
Coat the beet wedges in olive oil and salt and pepper and place them on a baking tray to roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Lastly, the salad greens are arranged on a platter or in a bowl. The roasted beets go on top, followed by the vinaigrette. Note that this recipe makes extra Medjool date citrus vinaigrette so you can use it on all your favourite salads!
- Use Fresh Medjool Dates– don’t substitute for dried or other types of dates because they won’t work in this recipe. Your Medjool dates should be soft, sticky and easy to pull apart.
- Pit and stem the Medjool dates– make sure to remove the pit and stem of the Medjool dates, or use already pitted Medjools (Natural Delights are available both pitted or whole)
- Opt for medium or small sized beets- very large beets can be woody, really earthy tasting and less sweet than smaller ones.
- Peel the beets- you can leave the skins on, however, I find that the skin contains a lot of their earthy flavour so, I choose to remove it.
- Cut the beets into wedges– for medium or larger sized beets, cut them into about 8 wedges or 4 wedges if your beets are smaller.
- Wash and dry the greens– this will help the dressing coat the leaves well.
Substitutions and notes
- Again, do not substitute Medjool dates for another variety of date or the vinaigrette will not work.
- Medjool dates should be soft and pliable (easy to pull apart). If yours are not that fresh, stick them in bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to soften up, drain off the water and use as directed in the recipe.
- Any variety of beet will work in this recipe.
- Use any mild flavoured greens you like for the salad base (for this recipe I use baby romaine, butter lettuce and frisee lettuce).
Where can I find Natural Delights?
Natural Delights Medjool Dates are available year-round in the produce section of your local grocer. For more recipes and information on their Medjool date products, visit them on the web at naturaldelights.ca or on social media via Facebook @NDmedjooldates or Instagram @ndmedjooldates #MedjoolDates #ndmedjooldates
Sending a big thank you to Natural Delights Medjool Dates for sponsoring this post! Thank you for supporting brands that help make The Simple Green possible.
More recipes like this
If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy these other favorites:
Simple Tomato Panzanella Salad
Roasted Potato Salad with Dijon Dressing
Vegan Rosemary Bread with Dates and walnuts
Roasted Beet Salad with Medjool Date Citrus Vinaigrette
Classic roasted beet salad is leveled up with a tangy, sweet and creamy Medjool date citrus vinaigrette. Medjool dates add natural sweetness and create a velvety smooth vinaigrette which works beautifully against earthy beets and greens in this dish. Makes extra Medjool date citrus vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and stems removed see notes
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 large orange
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
For the Roasted Beet salad
- 6 medium sized beets (750g), tops removed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 5 cups 300g salad greens of choice, washed and patted dry
Prepare the vinaigrette
To the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender, add all the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a container, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Prepare the beets and salad
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop the peeled beets into 8 wedges (or quarters if smaller) about 1” thick. Place in a large bowl and add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Place the beet wedges on a large baking tray in a single layer with some space between them.
Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the flesh of the beets and the outsides are golden with crispy edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes on the pan.
Meanwhile, prepare the salad base. To a large bowl or patter, add the salad greens, then the roasted beets. Drizzle the vinaigrette over top as desired (this recipe makes extra dressing so you don’t need to use it all in one go). Serve while the beets are still warm.
Medjool dates must be used to ensure proper blending; other date varieties will not work in this recipe.
Medjool dates should be soft and pliable (easy to pull apart). If yours are not that fresh, stick them in bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to soften up, drain off the water and use as directed in the recipe.
The vinaigrette will last covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Wow!!! What a delicious salad. The beets are amazing which a crunch and the dressing is really a treat for the taste buds. Mmmmmm!!!!
Heidi Richter says
SO happy you like it 🙂
Silvia Wong says
A gorgeous salad and delicious dressing. I never would have thought t use dates in this way!
Heidi Richter says
Thanks so much, Silvia! Glad you like it!