Roasted Beet Salad with Wheat Berries, Arugula and Feta

Here in the Midwest we are hovering between seasons. Winter is over but spring produce is just starting to trickle into the markets. Consequently, I end up eating some strange things that don’t necessarily belong to any season. This salad is a good example. It was inspired by something I ate at Hot Chocolate a couple of months ago that stuck in my head.

I didn’t always like beets and I can totally relate to people who don’t enjoy them, but in recent years I have grown to love them. I suspect they just take some getting used to. They work really well in this salad because they add some sweetness and depth to the wheat berries and arugula. They also add some fantastic color, especially when they bleed onto the feta, turning it bright pink.
This is great for a main course or starter and you can pack it for lunch during the week too. I keep the parts separated and then combine them and dress the salad before leaving for work. It all holds up until noon quite nicely. It is immensely satisfying and really quite beautiful to look at. It might be the perfect thing to be eat while we wait for farmer’s markets to start up.

It always feels a little silly to me to write a recipe for a salad. You know how to make a salad, so use this as inspiration. Feel free to experiment with proportions. Other grains, like farro, could be used in place of the wheat berries.

Roasted Beet Salad with Wheat Berries, Arugula and Feta

Serves 4

Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I like this dressing very acidic, reduce this to 2 tablespoons if you like a more traditional proportion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil


  • arugula, preferably baby or wild arugula
  • 2-3 medium beets, roasted, peeled and chopped***
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries***
  • 1/2 pound feta (I prefer goat’s milk)
  • Fresh oregano

Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl combine the shallot, vinegar, oregano, honey, salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes. slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.

Assemble salad: Place arugula leaves in a medium bowl and toss with a couple of tablespoons of vinaigrette. Divide dressed arugula among 4 plates. Top with 1/4 of wheat berries and 1/4 of the beets and 1/4 of the feta. Drizzle remaining dressing on top. Sprinkle with some additional oregano, salt and pepper. Serve.

*** To roast beets: Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash beets and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a small knife easily glides into beet. Let cool a bit before peeling and chopping.

*** To cook wheat berries: Combine 1 1/2 cups wheat berries, 6 cups of water and 2 teaspoons salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until tender. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add additional boiling water as needed to keep grain covered.

32 comments to “Roasted Beet Salad with Wheat Berries, Arugula and Feta”

  1. seems like a perfect thing to pack for spring lunches. delicious. that yellow beet looks like a jewel.

  2. Gorgeous! I want that salad for lunch.

  3. looks great. where do you get goat feta?

  4. Hey Jason, our Whole Foods has it but any feta you like the taste of will work here. Also, I am pretty sure the feta labeled goat still has sheep’s milk. But not sure. Maybe someone can enlighten us?

  5. This looks awesome! One of my favorite ways to make a beet salad is to lightly saute the beet tops and mix them in. So good!

  6. Wheat Berries! I usually do lentils so this will be a great change! Thanks!

  7. The other Tart and I were discussing what to make this weekend for our next post and hadn’t quite locked it down…until I saw this. Now I know what we’re making! Thanks:)

  8. did you have the lamb sandwich with the side of beets at HC? I had that last week and it was quite the tastiness. i like some beets, but not a ginormous mound of them, but those at HC were just enough (in a small bowl) to not taste “dirt-y”.

    salad looks lovely and i’m sure those wheat berries add a nice little crunch-like component, and will tide you over until the spring stuff finally arrives!

  9. I adore that salad at Hot Chocolate and your take on it looks spot-on. Have a great weekend, Tim!

  10. this looks great!!

  11. Tim, this salad sounds hearty and flavourful. I tend to eat with my eyes so I love the colours too. Although it is the middle of autumn here I can still get my hands on all those ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I used to dislike beets as well and now I can’t seem to get enough of them! This is something I’ll definitely have to try! You’ve also made me fondly remember my visits to Hot Chocolate and how absolutely delicious it is! Next time I go home to visit I’ll have to make that a stop on my foodie tour :)

  13. I am really happy when I get recipes for salads. When I am making a salad, I tend to go over and over for the same dressings and ingredients, and reading a new recipe is always a fresh and sometimes surprising start, even if I always end up doing some adjustments. This combination sounds really interesting: I am always looking forward for new ways of using beetroots, one vegetable which I don’t like enough to eat on its own, but which I do enjoy in combinations.

  14. Katie in DC says:

    April 17th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This salad is amazing!!! If you’re even thinking about trying it, do! Each bite is fantastic, and I’m only sorry I have to share this.

  15. Simple ingredients often come together to make the best dish – love the idea of adding grain to this salad.

  16. oh, yeah, good stuff this!! we pull this one out year-round, since beets travel and store well. we eat it with lentils, the little green de puy french ones. and it’s pretty groovy for lunch the next day, also.

  17. I love wheatberries! And your orange vinagrette looks lovely. This salad is the perfect weekday lunch to take to work! Thanks for the yummy idea.

  18. This salad looks fantastic! The wheatberries are a great component–I bet they add general heartiness. Hmmm…must try this…

  19. Beautiful salad. It looks like a mountain of jewels.

  20. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Some smoked chicken would be a fantastic addition, as long as we’re dreaming! Thanks, Tim, for the inspiration.

  21. Great salad! I love beats and wheat “berries” – both products a bit forgotten, unfortunately.

  22. Roasted beets – love them. Beautiful colors in this salad.

  23. Yum yum Tim! I just started seeds to grow beets. When they are ready… will you come over and make beet concoctions with me? A Beet Off?!?

  24. What a great way to use beets. Looks like a great salad.

  25. Made it. loved it! I’m about to eat leftovers now. I think the dressing and interplay with the feta was my favorite part.

  26. Hey, Tim! I did a nice riff on your salad this weekend, with black beluga lentils standing in for the wheat berries, and served it in savoy cabbage leaf bowls. It was terrific! Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be blogging abut it later in the week, and as always, will link back to you.
    Have a good week!

  27. Hi Pam and Claire, glad you both liked this and were able to make it work for you!

  28. I adore beets! These pictures are STUNNING!

  29. Beautiful! I love this kind of salad. Especially with beets. Will add the wheat berries next time!

  30. I made this beautiful & tasty salad last weekend during my Moms Retreat. Imagine six moms (sans husbands & kids) in a sweet rented cottage in Sonoma – relaxed, sipping bubbly & eating this wonderful salad on a sunny day. Perfect! We all thank you.

  31. Beautiful blog and photos. This looks fantastic – can’t wait to try it.!

  32. Ok, I finally made this, and its just delicious. Wheatberries are such a great addition, I have been eating beet and goat chees salads for what feels like ages but this recipe made it feel substantial, like something you want to share. Thanks so much.

What do you think?