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Candy Cane Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

5 from 4 votes

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An easy raw beet salad using Chioggia “Candy Cane” beets, with goat cheese, pistachios and greens and a quick, light dressing.

An image of striped Chioggia beets in a bowl tossed with greens and crumbled goat cheese.

This is a simple beet salad that’s easy to make, and it’s a real show-stopper on the table.

Thinly sliced “candy cane” – aka Chioggia beets – are blended with sweet red onion, baby greens, goat cheese and pistachios.

The dressing is a quick mixture of olive oil, white wine vinegar and lemon juice, with a touch of honey to balance the sweet and tart flavors.

What are Candy Cane (or Chioggia) Beets?

An image of a bunch of red beets on a gray surface.

Beets come in deeply intense colors — magenta, orange and yellow — but Italian heirloom Chioggia beets are exceptionally drop-dead gorgeous.

They’re look unassuming, gnarly and typically beet-like on the outside, and striped liked sweet candy-canes on the inside (which explains their nickname).

Chioggias show off their stripes once they’re sliced open, but if they’re cooked the pattern goes away.

What do candy cane beets taste like?

This type of beet is a bit milder in flavor than ordinary red beets, which makes them perfect to eat raw.

After making this salad a few times, I also noticed they don’t bleed as much color as the red ones, a plus since I prefer to peel them for the salad.

To me, most beets taste like sugar kisses, with a little spoonful of dirt on top. In a good way!

An image of striped Chioggia beets in a bowl tossed with greens and crumbled goat cheese.

I like beets, love them actually. But they’ve been an acquired taste for sure.

Maybe it was my childhood associations with beets and canned vegetables.

At some point in the history of tables I’ve sat around, there was a dish of soggy pickled beets sitting on one.

Those beets came straight out of a can or jar from my grandma’s pantry, tasting sour, sweet and a little of garden soil all at the same time.

An image of striped Chioggia beets in a bowl tossed with greens, crumbled goat cheese and chopped pistachio nuts.

I remember once licking the edge of an old copper penny (don’t tell my mom).

It tasted salty and metallic, but so mysteriously mouthwatering I was compelled to have another lick.

That’s kind of how I react to beets, too.

To be honest, it really floors me that nature could be so whimsical as to design a root vegetable in the spitting image of a Willy Wonka lollypop.

Once they’re cooked, the colors muddy and fade, so it’s worth eating Chioggia beets raw to get the full bang for your buck.

An image of peeled Chioggia beets with a metal vegetable peeler.

How to slice raw beets

Before slicing, use a handy vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Oxo makes my favorite basic peeler, sturdy and sharp enough to deal with beet skins.

To make lovely thin ribbons or strips, I often use a spiral slicer, a handy gadget that works magic on firm-textured vegetables and fruits – you can even make “noodles” with produce like zucchini.

Sometimes I just use a sharp, heavy knife or a mandoline to make thin, even slices for the salad.

A photo showing striped beets sliced on a mandoline and spiral slicers.

Chioggia beets are available at grocery stores with good produce sections as well as at farmer’s markets in the late summer and fall.

Any kind of beet will work for this recipe, if you’re in the mood for beets or brought home a load from the market. Choose smaller ones as they’ll be sweeter and milder-tasting raw.

Try using a mixture of colors, which will look pretty and offer a variety of different beet flavors.

More Healthy Vegetarian Salads

Candy Cane Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Karen Tedesco
A beautiful raw beet salad with pretty candy cane (Chioggia) beets. Use any variety of fresh beets to make this colorful healthy salad!
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) liquid honey or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, or use pistachio oil for a special treat
  • 1 pound (450 g) Chioggia beets, peeled
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 cups (170 g) mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) fresh crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Instructions 

  • Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, honey (or sugar) and salt in a small bowl until honey is dissolved. Gradually pour in the oil and whisk to combine.
  • Shave the beets into ribbons with spiral slicer, or into thin discs with a mandoline or sharp knife.
  • Put the beets in a salad bowl with the onion and greens. Drizzle with enough dressing to coat, about 2 tablespoons, and toss together. Sprinkle the goat cheese and pistachios over the salad. Serve with additional dressing on the side.

Notes

  • Any kind of beet will work for this recipe, if you’re in the mood for beets or brought home a load from the market. Choose smaller ones as they’ll be sweeter and milder-tasting when raw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 658IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!
Fresh and simple beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios. Make this pretty salad with any kind of colorful beet!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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12 Comments

  1. I just got Chioggia beets from my CSA and whipped up this salad. I had some goat feta cheez and that hit the spot.

  2. What a beautiful salad! I love the way the beets are cut so thin! I’m sure it’s delicious too!

  3. Girl – I feel like an obsessive fan, but your recipes always get me – we must have the same interest in taste, because your post are always dead on with what I’m craving!

    1. Thanks, Callie! I feel the same about your delicious ideas…

  4. I love beets and goat cheese together- I need to look at my farmers market for some of these candy cane beets!

  5. I love your description of beets – sweet sugar kisses with a spoonful of dirt! So true. 🙂 These are so beautiful – I had NO idea that these even existed!

    1. Lindsay, they are stunning aren’t they? Funny how earthy tastes can be so appealing. I love how vegetables come in so many colors and tastes.

  6. How pretty and undoubtedly delicious!

  7. Steve Adams says:

    I love them, too. We’ve had them a couple of times recently. I like the shaved idea.