Heirloom Beet Salad with Blue Cheese, Cucumbers, and Cumin–Raisin Vinaigrette

Larry LaValley

3800 Ocean at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa, Singer Island, FL

This colorful salad from Larry LaValley shines with diverse textures and flavors. A unique vinaigrette gives a splash of spice.


  • 6 large heirloom beets (about 1 pound)
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Clean the beets and slice off the tops. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the beets in the oil and seasonings. Wrap the beets in foil and roast until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove and discard the foil, then peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Combine the sherry vinegar, sherry wine, and raisins in a small sauce pot over low heat. Heat just until boiling and the raisins are plump. Strain and reserve the raisins and liquid. Return the liquid to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, until reduced by half. Set aside to cool.

Place the cooled liquid and 1/2 cup of plumped raisins in a blender. Blend while slowly adding the canola oil in a steady stream, until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Add the cumin and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a serving bowl, toss the beets and the remaining raisins with the blue cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Drizzle with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.


4 servings