Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!

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This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!As sad as I am to put away the holiday decorations each year, I’m equally as excited to get the new year started.  There’s a whole year ahead!  (Well, maybe a whole year minus a couple of weeks…but you get the point.)  And one of my favorite things about the beginning of the year is the New York Times’ Places to Visit.  The list includes 52 fun and unique places to explore…and 2017 has some really good places on the list!  In reverse order, here are just a couple of places that stood out to me on this year’s list:

#50 Budapest, Hungary

  • I keep hearing amazing things about Hungary!  It was never on my list, but after popping up in several conversations this past year (and now the NY Times list, too), I think I need to check out Budapest.  Plus, I really want to eat some authentic goulash.

#31 Napa Valley, CA

  • So Napa isn’t a secret at all, but I’m still on board!  I got a chance to visit Napa last year, and I want to take Laura back sometime soon.  Plus, Napa apparently has an up-and-coming brewery scene.  I know it would be strange to go to Napa and visit a brewery…but I’m game!

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!#12 Greenville, SC

  • Woah!  Seriously?  My grandparents lived in upstate South Carolina, and I grew up spending summers at their house out in the country.  Greenville was only ~45 minutes from where they lived.  But Greenville has apparently become super trendy lately.  Laura travels to Greenville for work 1-2 times a year, and she’s been telling me how awesome downtown Greenville is.  And now that it’s on the NY Times list?  That’s legit!  (Plus, Sean Brock is opening his 3rd location of Husk there in the coming months.  Laura and I ate at Husk in Charleston…and then we promptly went back for lunch the next day.  It was that good!)

#6 Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Like Budapest, I keep hearing awesome things about Croatia.  That photo of Dubrovnik looks amazing!  That, and I’m a huge sucker for all things European history.  Also worth noting: Dubrovnik is the setting for King’s Landing of Game of Thrones fame.  I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, so clearly this is fate.

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!#1 Canada

  • Awesome!  I love how most of the other places on the list are cities/regions, but Canada is just Canada.  Either way, I couldn’t agree more!  We live just 2 hours from the Canadian border, and we’ve ventured over to Montreal for a weekend trip.  I loved it!  I really do want to explore the rest of Canada.  Oh, and I want to see a moose.  (I’m sure my Canadian friends are yelling, “Finally…some respect!” at their computer screens right now…)

Speaking of travel and places to visit, I have to point out a fun game that Halo’s mandarins is running right now.  Halo’s are one of our favorite winter fruits, and this year they have collectible state stickers on ’em.  Collect all 50 states to win a fun prize!  Be it old Nintendo games, baseball cards or dust buffalo under the couch, you guys know how I love collecting things!  I’ve printed out the Halo’s map, and I’m slowly filling in all those stickers.

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!Laura and I try to eat a piece of fruit every day for lunch.  In the winter, we usually keep pears and Halo’s on hand.  Halo’s are (a) delicious and (b) easy to peel…thus making them the perfect fruit for a quick lunch.  But I decided to go one step further and make this Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing using some of the Halo’s in our fridge.

Laura loves beets, and I love goat cheese…so the combination here was perfect for both of us.  Oh, and I also included a quick and easy poppyseed dressing.  This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing has made for some really awesome lunches this past week!

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!I used canned beats for this salad just to keep it nice and easy, but feel free to roast your own.  I’m sure it would be delicious!  I did, however, brush those canned beets with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice and toss ’em into a grill pan.  I really like the juxtaposition of the warm beets and pecans with the cold mandarins and goat cheese.  But no matter how you do it, the flavors will be delicious!

Check out the Halo’s blog for more fun ideas using Halo’s…like saving the rinds, drying them on a sheet pan and then tossing them into your winter fire.  How fun is that!?


This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!

Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 578kcal


For the Salad

For the Poppyseed dressing


For the Salad

  • Using a dry skillet, toast the pecan halves over medium heat, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place a sauté or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the beets with the olive oil and lemon juice. Place beets in a preheated pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Arrange spinach on a large plate.
  • Top with beets, mandarin oranges, red onion, goat cheese and toasted pecans.
  • Drizzle top of salad lightly with Poppyseed Dressing.

For the Poppyseed Dressing

  • Using a medium bowl, add white wine vinegar, sugar, onion, mustard, salt and poppyseeds; stir until well combined.
  • Add oil in a slow steam, whisking constantly while pouring. Continue whisking until well combined.
  • Store leftover dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before using, shake well to recombine.

Disclaimer: I am a member of #TeamHalos, but I did not receive compensation for this Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing post.  The recipe and opinions are entirely my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch!

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    1. So I’m still trying to get on board the beet train. Laura loves (!) them, but I’m still 50-50. I must say that they totally worked in this salad though! 🙂 Thanks so much, Karen!

  1. Yes, you definitely need to visit Canada!! I have an upcoming favourite post and there are a couple of nods to our province by National Geographic so stay tuned 😉 I’ve seen my fair share of moose too, by the way, lol!! P.S. Montreal is beautiful….love their smoked meat! And don’t even get me started on poutine 😀
    There are so many places that hubby and I want to visit…it’s insane – Italy, England, Spain…the list goes on and on.
    Now, this salad! Love me some beets and particularly love goat cheese and together? Match made in heaven. Those halos – are they like clementine’s? Little oranges that are super easy to peel? Hope you guys have a great weekend!

    1. Oooo…I can’t wait to see that upcoming post, Dawn! I’ve only traveled to Canada twice, but I really enjoyed both trips. We need to come up more often for sure! So this salad was a huge hit around here last week…Laura and I both are it for lunch all week. Halos are indeed clementines! Just grab some at the store, peel ’em up, and toss ’em in a salad. 🙂

  2. Nice spread of a salad here. I just got into beets in the last year or so and with the citrus I think it would be a fantastic combo. I didn’t know GOT was filmed there (Dubrovnik), we were supposed to go there last year and the India trip came at a better time. Dave’s family rented a house and we trekked through Northern India. Never enough time, I say go to them all. 🙂

    1. I totally agree, Kevin! There’s so many places I want to visit…and so little time! I’d love to see Dubrovnik…not only because of the GoT connection but also because it just looks like a beautiful place! I think we have a trip to the Rhine in the works for this summer…and I’m stoked about seeing the castles there! Thanks, my friend!

  3. I love beets and mandarin so this salad is right up my alley! Interesting places in the list. We live so close to the Canada border too (on the other side of course haha) but I have only been to Vancouver and Whistler..and whistler is so so gorgeous!!

    1. Oh man, I’ve always wanted to visit Whistler! Ever since the Vancouver Olympics a few years back, Whistler has been on my short list. It looks insanely beautiful! 🙂 Thanks, Manali!

  4. I’m jealous! We’ve been wanting to visit Montreal (and Quebec), and it’s been on my bucket list quite a while. I need to cross it off soon! Until then, I love Halo’s, but never thought of having it over salad. Gotta try this recipe!

    1. Yes, you do need to get up to Montreal sometime soon, Linda! I recognize that it’s quite a haul for you to get there…but it’s such an awesome city! 🙂

  5. Finally, finally David will see our moose. And perhaps will try some authentic Nanaimo bars (I remember, the lady from your curling team made it but that’s not 100% same thing.) Also, I’ve heard Quebec is famous for its lavender fields although I’m not sure you would be interested. So welcome! On a side note, you can always grab some delicious stuff for me:) And what a fancy salad, David! Your salads are always delicious, but you normally go with the classic combos. Here, beets, mandarins, poppy seeds, pecans, and goat cheese. I clearly see my influence here haha. Except, perhaps, use of lavender:) Well done!

    1. I’m pretty sure those Nanaimo Bars the lady from the curling club made are the real deal! She told me all about how she has to shop at a specialty store down in NYC to get the custard that goes into ’em. All I know is I need more…those things were insane! So if I come to visit Canada, will you meet me at the border with Nanaimo Bars and a moose? Because that would be pretty awesome! And, yes, this salad is definitely a little outside of the classic realm…you’re clearly having an affect on me, Ben! Next thing you know, I’ll be growing lavender in my backyard. Haha!

  6. Hi David. Would it be wrong to use pickled beets in this? I don’t like plain cooked beets but I do like pickled beets. We spent our honeymoon in Toronto and it is a fabulous city. So many different cultures and foods. Our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up in the fall and I would like to revisit Toronto.

    1. Hey there, Dorothy! So pickled beets would really bring a different flavor profile to this salad. I’m not saying they wouldn’t work…but I just don’t know! I’m still new to this whole beet thing, and I find the pickled version a bit too intense still. You know, I think I remember you saying that you went to Toronto on your honeymoon. A Fall visit back to Toronto would be lovely this year! (Also, congrats on 25…that’s a long time!) 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you about Halos, Kathy! We’ve been eating them for lunch for a while now…they’re so easy to peel. But I gotta say this salad is pretty darned awesome, too. I’m still kinda new to beets, too, but they work really well in this salad. There are just so many good flavors going on in this one. Enjoy! 🙂

  7. It’s salad time!! I’ve never had a beet salad that I didn’t love, actually that’s not true, I had a salad with canned beets in Europe and it was one of the most disappointing meals of my life, but other than that… bring on the beets. I have never heard of the New York Times’ Places to Visit; I had to pin it. I live 30 minutes from Napa, I’ve spent every Birthday there for the last five years, and I drive to Napa regularly, at least once a month. I’m so lucky to live close to such a delicious place, the wine is out of this world and the food is equally as good. I plan on going to Canada sometime soon, it’s only a 3-hour plane ride for me, so there are no excuses. I love the look of this poppyseed dressing, I don’t use poppyseeds enough.

    1. So I did use canned beets for this salad…but only to save time. (That and roasting your own beets is a mess!) But I wonder if canned beets in Europe are different than they are over here? Oh man, I am SO jealous that you live so close to Napa. I had a quick trip out there last Fall, but I totally want to go back now…and this time bring Laura. Haha! Thanks, Mary…hope you had an awesome weekend!

  8. When I clicked your emailed link post and ended up on this recipe with beets, I thought I got re-directed! 🙂
    So glad Laura has convinced you to cross over to the beet side! 🙂 And what a fabulous salad this is! Loving the Halos, goat cheese and pecans – such a lovely blend of flavors and textures – and I love a salad with textures!
    As for Greenville – last year they had “Artisphere” in May that little Shashi and I attended – we are planning on going back this year in May to catch it again and hope to try and make it to Husk – we went to The Brick Street Cafe after Allie recommended it to me – hitting that place for the sweet potato cake again too!

    1. Hahaha! I bet you thought the interwebs spammed you, Shashi! But no…it’s true! I did make a salad with beets in it…and I liked it! (Of course, I didn’t roast my own beets…but maybe next time.) Oh yeah, I remember you talking about the sweet potato cake! I didn’t remember that it was in Greenville, though. I haven’t been to the Greenville Husk, but I’m sure it’s similar to the Charleston location…and it’s absolutely worth a stop! Man, this makes me want to move south again! 😉

  9. Oh my word, THANK YOU for calling them mandarins and not cuties. I remember when my housemate asked me if I wanted a cutie (holding a mandarin) and I was like…excuse me? Anyway this salad sounds texture and flavor perfect- Tangy, sweet, savory and more. As for that list…where is Australia on there 😉 Also, Dubrovnik!!!!

    1. No way! Not a cutie! These bad boys are mandarins all the way. I mean what if you were a mandarin and people went around calling you cutie? That’s almost as bad as lovely old Aunt Eliza pinching your cheek! But yes, this salad was pretty epic…so many awesome flavors going on in there, and really not too hard to make at all. I feel like The Great Barrier Reef was on that list of places to travel…if not this year, then definitely last year. Looks like you’ve got a nice list to pick from now for your next adventure! Can you write TBMW in scuba gear? 😉

  10. Hmmm, thinking that pickled beets (sour) with clementines (sweet) might be a very tasty combo. Perhaps cutting down on the quantity of beets might bring it all into balance?

    1. You know that could very well work, Vivi! However, I have to admit that pickled beets are just one of those things I’m not terribly fond of. But I could see how the sour + sweet combo would work. If you give it a shot, will you come back and let me know how it turns out? 🙂 Thanks for commenting!!

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