Mixed Greens, Roasted Beet and Candied Walnut Salad

Mixed Greens, Roasted Beet and Candied Walnut Salad

We don’t often slow down enough or think deeply enough about why a particular dish works. Think about tuna salad - if you add sliced celery to the dish it provides a sharp contrast to the toothless tuna. Granola and fresh berries on yogurt does much the same. Contrasting textures enhance the way we perceive flavors. We know this experientially and evidently there are scientists working on quantifying and qualifying the same.

Applying this to the realm of salads we might add chopped vegetables (crunchy), a sprinkle of cheese (creamy), and a handful of nuts.

This salad brings those concepts together with roasted beets and my new favorite salad topping candied walnuts. The walnuts in particular are super easy to make and will elevate your salad from pedestrian to professional.

The candied nuts are paleo friendly, take just a few minutes to make and the variations are endless.


Candied Walnuts

  • 8 oz raw walnuts
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Roasted Beets
  • 2-3 whole beets (I used rainbow beets but any will do)
  • 2 tbs olive oil


  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 10 cherry tomatoes - sliced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 oz feta cheese


  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar (you can sub balsamic, red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried mint flakes
  • salt and pepper


  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. put parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  3. add honey to small bowl and microwave for 15 seconds
  4. add cayenne and salt
  5. stir well
  6. add nuts and stir until nuts are sticky
  7. spread nuts into single layer on parchment paper
  8. bake for 15-20 minutes
  9. cool and remove from parchment (resist temptation to sample the hot walnuts)


  1. scrub beets lightly under running water
  2. add to ovenproof dish
  3. rub olive oil on beets in pan, cover with foil
  4. bake @ 350 for 45minutes to an hour (or until a knife easily penetrates beet)
  5. remove and cool
  6. the skin should come off easily once cooled
  7. slice and dice into 1/2 inch cubes


  1. whisk together ingredients in small bowl


  1. In a large bowl, toss mixed greens, tomatoes, onions and beets
  2. add dressing and toss
  3. top with cooled candied walnuts

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