Toasty Beet & Walnut Salad

A toasted beet and walnut salad plate in front of a glass and a bottle of Apothic Merlot


Merlot braised beets

  • 3 to 5 small beets
  • 1 shallot (rough chopped)
  • ¼ cup of Apothic Merlot
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup beet cooking liquid (from cooking the beets)
  • Vegetable oil, enough to emulsify
  • Honey, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Balsamic mayo

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Maple roasted walnuts

  • 2 cups shelled, halved walnuts
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt, to taste

Garnishes (quantities to taste)

  • Goat cheese
  • Baby arugula
  • Lemon zest


Braised beets prep

  1. In a dry small pan, lightly toast your fennel seeds by swishing them around the pan on medium-low heat. Remove them from the heat once it becomes fragrant.
  2. Place all the braising ingredients into a medium sized pot and bring it all to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat so it can simmer until the beets are tender. When you can easily poke a fork through the thickest part of the beet, this is done and you can strain the beets out.
  3. Save this braising liquid to the side for the next step.
  4. Peel the beet skin off with a clean rag and then place the peeled beets back into the braising liquid. Let them sit for 2 hours so the beets can absorb the liquid.
  5. After 2 hours, strain and slice the beets to your desired shape/size and set aside.

Beet dressing

  1. Mix the beet braising liquid with honey, and salt to taste.
  2. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture thickens slightly.

Balsamic mayo

  1. Separate the yolk from the white of the egg: take your egg and gently crack it as close to the centre as possible. Pry the egg into halves, and begin passing the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell, dropping as much of the egg white as possible into a bowl.
  2. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with mustard and lemon juice.
  3. Add the vegetable oil into the egg mixture a bit at a time while whisking vigorously and constantly until all the vegetable oil has been incorporated and a smooth emulsion is formed.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to taste, then mix in the balsamic vinegar.

Tip: You can substitute this homemade mayo with store-bought mayo, and mix in the balsamic vinegar to the store-bought mayo.


Maple roasted walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan and toss in the walnuts around the heated pan for about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the maple syrup, stirring frequently to keep the nuts from burning.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. After the 3 minutes of cooking (or until all ingredients are well combined), scoop the nuts onto the baking sheet (don’t pour them, as this will transfer the loose syrup and cause it to get too sticky!).
  5. Spread the nuts out so they’re not touching each other too much. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on the nuts to make sure they toast to a nice colour, and the syrup doesn’t cause them to burn.
  6. Let the nuts cool enough to handle before breaking apart any clumps.

Finish & Serve

Bring out your inner gourmet chef and layer this salad by building your base with the sliced red beets, layer on the arugula, then tear in bits of the goat cheese, and sprinkle on the walnuts. Lightly drizzle the salad with the beet dressing and dot in the balsamic mayo, before stepping back to admire your culinary creation with a glass of Apothic Merlot.

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