The season? (Cherries, after all, are fleeting.)

Or my never-ending quest to stoke a little beet love in my family?

I’m not sure. But for whatever reason, I decided to combine pink beets and cherries in a savory salad.

Don’t “eeewww.” Think about it for a minute:

  • Both are sweet;
  • Both play nicely with vinegar;
  • Both are red.

I roasted a couple of the beets I’d picked up at our farmer’s market. Peeled and sliced them into chunks. Tossed them with pitted, halved cherries in a sherry wine- and walnut oil-vinaigrette. A little arugula, a little blue cheese and a few sliced almonds rounded out the dish.

It worked. The cherries and roasted beets had the same texture; the same garnet hue. The beets were sweet yet earthy. The cherries sweet yet tart. The arugula lent a bitter edge; the blue cheese a pungent counterpoint; the almonds some much needed crunch.

I’ll make this dish again. But maybe I’ll switch up the color.

Yellow beets and yellow cherries, anyone?

Beet & Cherry Salad

  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 medium pink, red or candy-striped beets, trimmed and scrubbed free of dirt
  • 1 1/4 cups cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) walnut oil
  • Arugula
  • Blue cheese
  • Sliced almonds

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place the vinegar, olive oil and water in a small glass baking dish. Add the beets. Toss well, then season with salt and pepper.

Cover your baking dish tightly with foil. Roast for 1 hour, or until the beets are fork-tender.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Let the beets cool, then peel them and slice them into wedges.

Place the beets and cherries in a bowl.

Add the walnut oil to your reserved cooking liquid. Taste. Add more oil if the mixture is too vinegary.

Pour the walnut oil-laced liquid over the beets and cherries. Add arugula, blue cheese and almonds. Toss gently and serve.

No “eeewwws” heard.

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