Beetroot salad with feta is the finest way to enjoy this sweet and delicious healthy root vegetable that pairs perfectly with tangy salty feta cheese. With nuts for added crunch and pomegranate dressing for balance, this salad is an all year lunch and dinner favourite.
You can easily modify it to be vegan or make it to include your favourite protein like juicy oven-roasted chicken breast.
Ways to cook beetroot for salad
Both methods are extremely simple and deliver delicious results.
Alternatively, if you are in a real rush you can microwave the beets.
Simply place you beets in a microwave safe dish along with half a cup of water.
Close the dish with a lid and microwave for 15 minutes.
Check the doneness by piercing the beets with a skewer and microwave for longer if needed.
What flavours pair well with beets
Beetroots have a sweet earthy flavour which makes them ideal for salty cheese and sour sauces.
In this recipe we use feta but any other creamy salty cheese would work.
Our dressing uses pomegranate but this can be substituted for a honey lemon dressing, balsamic reduction or a simple balsamic olive oil vinaigrette.
To bring together these contrasting flavours it helps to add a nutty element and also something herby and green.
Our recipe uses heart healthy walnuts and a generous helping of parsley, but these are easily substituted to something else.
For an extensive list of possible substitutions and add-ins see the variations section in this post.
As mentioned before most of the ingredients can be substituted for alternatives. The most important part is having good beetroot.
- Beetroot - Pick medium sized beets. They should be firm and unblemished with a fresh earthy smell. You can also use pink or yellow beets for this salad or use a combination of the three.
- Pomegranate and molasses - To make the dressing we need pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses. It's extremely healthy and has a beautiful sharpness and colour that literally makes the beets shine.
- Herbs - The green leafy flavour of parsley pairs well with the rest of these ingredients.
- Cheese - Use a salty slightly creamy feta cheese or alternative like blue cheese.
- Nuts - Walnuts are my go-to for a beetroot salad in any form. They are super healthy, nutritious, and have a winning texture and flavour when paired with beets.
- Oil - Good quality extra virgin olive oil works best.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Wooden Chopping Board
How to make it
- Cooking the beetroots - Roast the beetroots in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220C Celsius for 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer easily inserts into the flesh without resistance. Alternatively, microwave like I explained in the ways to cook beetroot section or boil in water that's been seasoned with salt, sugar and vinegar. Here are the full recipes for how to boil beets and how to salt roast beets.
- Roasting the nuts - Turn your oven to degrees 320 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until the nuts have a roasted aroma and colour. Let them cool down slightly and rub between your hands to get rid of most of the skin. Break them up roughly and set aside for later.
- Making the vinaigrette - Mix together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a mixing bowl with a whisk or shake vigorously in a closed jar until emulsified.
- Putting together the salad - Cut the beetroot into large wedges or chunks. It should be slightly bigger than bite-size. Dress the beets with the pomegranate dressing followed by the roasted walnuts. Finely chop some parsley and add it to the bowl with dressed beets and walnuts. Give it all a gentle mix and season to taste with a bit of salt.Place the salad into a bowl and add some feta chunks followed by a few more optional leaves of flat-leaf parsley and fresh grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately or store, covered airtight, in the fridge for later.
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This salad is a super healthy versatile dish that can easily be adjusted and modified to suit your needs.
- Add protein - Roasted duck, chicken or fried chicken livers are all good additions. So are thinly sliced strips of steak or pastrami. If you want to add fish, cured salmon works a treat.
- Change the nuts - Hazelnuts, pine nuts and pecan nuts all make great substitutes.
- Different cheese - Try goat's cheese, blue cheese or mozzarella. Remember to salt the mozzarella as the average store-bought versions are not very well seasoned. Alternatively, add this baked ricotta.
- Change the herbs - Basil would be my next favourite after parsley followed by chives, mint, and cilantro.
- Make it vegan - To make a vegan beetroot salad it's as simple as removing the feta cheese and replacing it with a vegan alternative or simply omit it altogether.
- Change the dressing - Use a honey and lemon dressing or go for something like a salsa verde, chimichurri, or balsamic reduction.
- Make it Keto - To make it keto I suggest you simply change the dressing. It needs to be a simple olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette to make sure the sugars are kept to a minimum.
- Add leaves - You might want to lighten up the salad or bulk it up by adding some greens. Rocket salad or romaine hearts work well, as do lamb's lettuce(Corn salad) and watercress.
This is a perfect stand-alone salad that can be eaten any time of year at any time of day. It's healthy, filling and easily digestible. If you want to serve it with something I suggest one of the following:
- Meat - A juicy ribeye or bavette steak works best. As do a crispy barbecued pork belly or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin.
- Fish - Beetroot and salmon are great friends and with this pan-fried salmon fillet they would make the perfect meal.
Frequently asked questions
This salad keeps well when sealed airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can serve it warm and by the time the beets are peeled and the salad mixed it will be the perfect temperature.
If you are in a real hurry or feeling a touch lazy then use good quality untreated beets with no extra vinegar added. The taste won't be as good as homemade, but you can still use it to make this salad.
Other recipes you might like
If you want to serve up a delicious healthy feast of salads and vegetables then you will find the following recipes useful.
- Authentic Greek salad
- Classic Caesar salad
- Roasted Romano peppers and mascarpone
- Roasted pumpkin salad
- Tahini coleslaw
- Moroccan baked eggplant zaalouk
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