Summer Beet Salad Recipe (Beet & Tomato Salad)
This Summer Beet Salad recipe celebrates the best farmer’s market produce. Enjoy summer on a plate with a beet and tomato salad with herbs, barley and a fresh vinaigrette.
After a long winter in the Midwest, nothing tastes quite as good in the summer as a big, fresh salad made with the best produce. You know I love a big platter of fresh strawberries and avocado with fried goat cheese.
And when you have great vegetables from your garden or a farmer’s market, a “salad” really needs to be very little else beyond slicing, piling things onto a platter and drizzling with citrus salad dressing.
Many of us normally think of beets as more of a winter vegetable. But since they’re my favorite vegetable, I’ve found that they can transition right into warmer weather too, especially when they are paired with tomatoes.
This summer beet salad recipe makes a star out of fresh produce and herbs, with just a little bit of barley for added texture and fiber.
What you’ll need for this summer beet salad recipe:
- beets – you’ll need 3 medium beets, any variety, for this beet and tomato salad recipe. I’ll explain to you how to roast them below!
- heirloom tomatoes – I like a variety of larger slicing tomatoes and smaller cherry tomatoes, but use whatever is available to you. Buy extra large ones for a smoked salmon BLT and small ones for blistered tomatoes.
- herbs – I like a combination of fresh parsley and basil, but one or the other is fine. You could also add a little bit of thyme and/or rosemary to this tomato beet salad if you have it. Any extra herbs can be folded into make ahead breakfast muffins.
- pearl barley – I like to add just a small amount of pearl barley to this summer beet recipe. It adds another texture component and also ups the fiber content of this dish. If you love barley, you’ll like my slow cooker barley, too!
- olive oil – this is for making the vinaigrette, so use a high quality olive oil.
- lemon juice – this is the main flavor component of the vinaigrette, so you’ll definitely want to juice a fresh lemon for this (buy a few extra and make lemon pancakes for brunch this weekend!).
- salt and pepper – to season the vinaigrette.
How to roast beets for this beet and tomato salad:
Roasting beets for this summer beet salad recipe is seriously the EASIEST thing! I do it just about every week because I often have beet and yogurt salad for lunch.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and then grab a rimmed baking pan. Trim any stems and greens off of your beets, and then scrub the beets well (you can leave the skin on).
Lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil and place the beets on the foil. Drizzle the beets with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
If I happen to have fresh thyme around (maybe left over from prosciutto sandwiches), I also throw a few sprigs of thyme over the beets, but this is optional for this summer beet recipe.
Wrap the beets up in the foil so that they’re all enclosed in a packet, and place the packet on the baking pan.
Transfer to the oven and roast until the beets are tender (meaning that the tip of a paring knife slides in and out of the beets very easily).
Exacting cooking time for this summer recipe with beets really just depends on the size of your beets. Small ones might take 30 – 45 minutes, whereas very large beets could take up to 90 minutes.
Once the beets are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cool, in their packet, for about 10 to 15 minutes. But do not allow them to cool ALL of the way, or rubbing the skins off will be very difficult (learned that one the hard way!).
Once they are slightly cooled, carefully use paper towels to rub the skins off of the beets. Then, they’re ready to be sliced for beet and tomato salad!
The vinaigrette for this summer recipe with beets is a little bit non-traditional:
The basic vinaigrette ratio that I was taught in culinary school is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. But, as tastes change, more and more cooks are playing around with this to suit their own preferences.
Personally, I prefer a more acidic dressing for this summer beet salad recipe. It’s lighter, fresher, and a little healthier since it’s not as dependent on oil.
I think the rich, earthy flavor of beets pairs nicely with a dressing that is equal parts oil and lemon juice, so that’s how I’ve dressed this beet and tomato salad.
What to serve with this summer tomato beet salad recipe:
While I can practically eat a big serving of this beet and tomato salad for a meal all on its own, it also works very nicely as a side salad to a main dish.
If you’d like to pair it with pasta, my creamy salmon pasta is a very popular choice.
If you have shishito peppers in your garden, try my blistered shishito peppers and dipping sauce!
- 3 medium beets, stems removed, scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used a combination of parsley and basil)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Place beets on pan; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with an 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Wrap foil around beets to form a packet. Transfer to oven and cook 45 to 60 minutes or until tender (see Home Chef Tip). Remove from oven and let stand in packet for 10 to 15 minutes or until beets are cool enough to handle but not completely cool. Then, carefully use paper towels to rub the skins off of the beets. Thinly slice beets.
- Meanwhile, prepare barley according to package instructions and let cool.
- In small bowl, whisk lemon juice and remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined.
- Arrange tomatoes and beets on serving platter. Sprinkle with herbs and barley. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: Exacting cooking time depends on the size of your beets. Small ones might take 30 - 45 minutes, whereas very large beets could take up to 90 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.