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Dinner Party or Tailgate: Golden Beets & Little Red Potatoes, Arugula Salad


Senses bursting on overload, I happened onto the ultimate perfect timing in a plethora of the freshest, most colorful displays of produce ever last week just following a meeting held at a market cafe table set on the patio outside. It was one of those warm, crystal clear, sunny fall days.


The bins were so bursting forth with selection that every time I ripped another sheet from the rolling plastic bag dispenser, I was back again having eyed another and another perfect choice, greens of every hue, shades of reds, tints of golden. When I say perfect choice however, it doesn’t mean I had any idea what I was planning to prepare, only certainty that many delicious dishes would shortly occur.  One of these prepared from among the day’s selections, Golden Beets & Little Red Potatoes, Arugula Salad.


Bounty always seems to inspire creativity making the combination of ingredients an easy task, but in this case, once shared, the question came to mind, is the choice for a Dinner Party or Tailgate? As it turned out everyone unanimously agreed: Both.


Today’s salad is a good example on how you can use lots of fresh vegetable combinations, in salads, with pasta, or any sort of grain, transforming choice flavors into an elegant beginning of a dinner party among friends, or, simply preparing the ingredients separately, tossing them all together, in this case, with the dressing and the arugula at the last moment just before presenting them as a healthy, appetizing side on the Tailgate table. 


Really, it just goes to show you, no matter what the feature of your meal at the shared table, from a sautéed French style fresh fish in butter sauce to a grilled burger or a slab of ribs straight off the grill, a beautiful side dish bursting with color and flavor suits perfectly well on any special occasion from the Dinner Party to the Tailgate. Bon Appetit. Go Team.

Golden Beets, Little Red Potatoes, Arugula Salad
Serves 4
Perfect colorful fall salad suitable for a dinner party first course. Salad may alternatively be increased in volume and served at a Tailgate combining the cooked beets, potatoes, and scallions in advance, tossing in the dressing and arugula just before serving time.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
  1. 3-4 small golden beets
  2. 12 little red potatoes
  3. 3 scallions, green part included, chopped very, very finely
  4. 2 cups baby arugula
For the Dressing
  1. heaping 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  2. 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, such as Braggs pure, unfiltered
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil
  5. couple grinds black pepper
  6. pinch of coarse kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off both ends of beets. Pour around one and a half inches of water into a smallish sized gratin dish, set beets in upright, cover with foil and place into oven. Cook beets for 35- 45 minutes or until beet is just fork tender all the way through. Remove from oven, drain liquid from dish, once beets have come to room temperature slip off the skin, cut into bite sized chunks similar size to baby potato halves. While beets are cooking, rinse baby potatoes, place into a vegetable steamer, steam potatoes for around 17 minutes or longer until just fork tender all the way through. Remove potatoes from steamer, cool to room temperature before cutting in half.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Place golden beets and potatoes into a large sized mixing bowl, sprinkle in scallions stirring throughout. Pour over dressing stirring to coat vegetables well, tumble in the baby arugula and toss about. Spoon salad evenly over plates and serve straight away. Golden Beets and Little Red Potatoes may be prepared in advance then tossed with scallions, dressing and arugula just before serving.
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  1. Joanne C.
    Posted October 26, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful salad. I’ll take that at a dinner party anytime.

  2. Meredith A.
    Posted October 26, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Hi Peg, the salad looks so pretty. Good idea for a tailgate and I would love to serve it at a Dinner Party too.

    • Posted October 26, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Hi Meredith! Happy to see you. Thanks so much. The salad really is pretty and just goes to show you the versatility of dishes beyond the grill for Tailgating. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Posted October 26, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow Peggy, such a simple salad, love this combination. I think a lot of the veggies that grow in the same season work together fabulously. Great dressing too!
    cheri recently posted…Hazelnut Cacao Nib GranolaMy Profile

  4. Posted October 28, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It looks like the perfect transition from salad to Buddha bowl. The cooler weather calls for heartier fare, and this is perfect. Thank for the idea…simple, beautiful, and delicious!
    Kelly recently posted…Global Entry: What You Need to KnowMy Profile

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.