Often, dairy-free people are forced to settle for cheese substitutes that are less than desirable. No more! This salad with roasted beets and vegan “goat cheese” hits all the notes that you remember.
This tangy and spicy vegan “goat” cheese pairs well with the sweet, juicy beets, as well as the peppery microgreens, which are packed with nutrients. This delicious winter salad is made with only ten ingredients. It’s perfect for an appetizer or side dish. Let’s get started!
This beautiful lettuce is made up of four ingredients: 1) tender, roasted beets; 2) homemade vegan “goat” cheese (or purchased at the store); 3) a simple, balsamic-based dressing; and 4) nutrient-packed microgreens.
Focus on the vegan goat cheese. Cashews are the perfect base for DIY substitutes. They’re creamy, rich, and neutral-flavored.
Cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil (refined, odorless), salt, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard combine to create a rich, spreadable cheese that is similar to goat cheese.
The leftover “goat” cheese can also be used to make frittatas, sandwiches, vegan charcuterie boards, or even sliced apples and pears.
Add dollops of “goat” cheese to the sliced beets. Top with microgreens to add color and crunch. Add pistachios and walnuts as well for some crunch. Finish it off with a dressing of balsamic, olive oil, and sea salt.
VEGAN “GOAT CHEESE”
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best taste.
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil refined and odorless, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Four medium-sized beets (1 lb, or 454g)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil is best for flavor.
- Sea salt, one pinch
- Microgreens in loosely packed 1-2 cups
- One cup chopped pistachios or roasted shelled nuts (optional).
- In a large bowl, soak cashews for 20-30 mins or overnight. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204 C). Trim off the stems, leaves, and tops of the beets. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil.
- Bake the beets wrapped in foil until a knife can easily pierce them. This may take 45 minutes or an hour, depending on their size. Open the foil packages carefully to let the steam escape. Let the beets cool for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the vegan goat cheese. Add cashews to a Food Processor along with lemon juice, coconut oil, and Dijon mustard. Blend for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides if necessary. If you need to, add 1 Tbsp of water.
- Add more salt if you need it, more lemon if you want more acidity, or more Dijon mustard if you want more punch. The dish should be a bit salty and tangy in order to balance the sweetness of the beets.
- Refrigerate the vegan goat’s cheese for 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to develop further and help the cheese to firm up. Note: You can make the cheese several days ahead of time!
- Use a paper towel or your fingers to remove the beet skin once the beets have cooled enough to handle. The skin should easily slide off. Slice the beets in 1/8-inch thick circles. Place the beets in a bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
- Make the dressing while everything is cooling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the balsamic, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the beets in a serving dish. Sprinkle microgreens over them and then spoon dollops of goat-cheese mixture around and on top of the beets. (You won’t use all of it – we only used half). Add nuts (optional), and drizzle on the dressing before serving.
- Separate components are best stored. The vegan goat cheese, beets roasted in olive oil, and the dressing can all be kept for up to five days. Leftover “goat” cheese can be frozen for up to one month. It can also be used on sandwiches, as a salad dressing, “charcuterie boards,” or with sliced apples and pears.