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Beet salad in a small white bowl with a bamboo handle fork

Peach and Beet Salad Recipe with Thyme Vinaigrette

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Fresh Southern peaches and beets are tossed with a delightful thyme dressing in this Peach and Beet Salad Recipe with Thyme Vinaigrette. The results are the epitome of summer on a plate!

This Cold Beet Salad starts with super easy microwaved beets that are chilled and transformed into an amazing side dish. The addition of peaches, blue cheese, walnuts, and thyme flavored salad dressing, make this a unique, irresistible salad.

Beet salad in a white salad bowl

Beet Salad Recipe

Whenever I see a beet salad on the menu, I order it. Since I am the sole beet lover in the family, I rarely add them to our menu. But with the farmers’ market in full swing and with beets (and ripe and fragrant Georgia peaches) in the kitchen, I had to add one to our menu.

The first decision was how to cook the beets. I drifted back to this post from 2011. I’d forgotten about a slick technique I’d learned to prepare the beets, all done in the microwave! More on that to come, but first let’s learn about beets.

Beet salad arranged on a decorative white plate with a bamboo handle fork

What You Need to Know about Beets

Why do beets taste like dirt?

No matter the reason, my picky husband will never agree to eat beets. He’s had them in chocolate cake and his persnickety palate knew that something was amiss.
The reason some people think beets taste like dirt is due to a compound called geosmin. It’s what gives freshly plowed earth its distinctive aroma. It’s also found in lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, and even catfish.

Why do beets cause pink or red urine?

Beeturia is the term for red urine due to beet ingestion. 10-14% of those who eat beets will have this side effect. It’s tied to the red pigments and antioxidant, called betalian.

How should beets be cooked for salad?

Beets can be roasted, boiled, or microwaved. I usually wrap my beets in foil and roast until they’re soft, but this time, I placed my beets in a microwave-safe bowl, then added a couple of inches of water. I covered to bowl with plastic wrap and microwaved for 20 minutes. It was SO easy! Cool, peel, then cut into cubes and they’re ready to go.

Are beets healthy?

There are many nutrients in beets, plus they are low in calories and high in fiber. Beets contain Vitamin C, Folate, B6, Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium.
According to Healthline, beets temporarily decrease blood pressure, aid digestion, and may promote brain health.

What cheese pairs well with beets?

My two go to choices are blue cheese and goat cheese. Both are creamy with a nice contrast to the earthy flavor of beets. Other options include feta, Parmesan, and ricotta.

What salad dressings go well with a beet salad?

A simple vinaigrette is always delicious with beets, but ranch, blue cheese or a buttermilk dressing are also terrific options.

Close overhead view of  Beet Salad Recipe with Peaches and a flavorful beet salad dressing with honey and Dijon

How to Make a Cold Beet Salad

  • Cook, cool, peel, and cube your beets. This can be done the day before you make the salad.
  • Peel and cube your peaches. PRO-Tip: slice an X on the non-stem end of the peach, just through the skin. Drop it into a pan of boiling water for 15-30 seconds or until you see the skin pulling away from the fruit. Place it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once you can handle it, peel the peach with a paring knife or your fingers.
  • PRO-Tip: Toast your nuts to bring out the natural oils and enhance their flavor. Chop the nuts.
  • Make the vinaigrette.
  • Arrange the spinach on individual plates or place in a serving bowl. Top with beets, peaches, walnuts, and crumbled cheese.
  • Toss with the beet salad dressing before serving.

More Salads You’ll Love:

This recipe was first shared in February 2011. The text, photos, and recipe were all updated in 2020.

Peach and Beet Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

Peach and Beet Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

An unusual summer salad with fresh beets, ripe peaches, spinach and more tossed in a homemade vinaigrette flavored with thyme.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 3 small to medium beets, cooked, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 fresh peach, pitted, peeled and cubed
  • 3-5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (or more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Place the spinach in a large salad bowl or divide between individual salad plates.

Top with beets, peaches, blue cheese and walnuts.

Make the beet salad dressing by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is well combined and emulsified.

Drizzle salad or salads with the vinaigrette. Toss large salad right before serving.

Notes

You can replace walnuts with pecans.

If you'd prefer goat cheese, it will work well in this salad.

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