May 012013
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Beetroot and Feta Salad with Orange Vinaigrette



This salad is made using fresh beetroots, not jarred. Fresh beetroots have a really nice earthy flavor, without the overpowering acidic sting that invariably accompanies the bottled crinkle-cut variety. Feta gives the salad a soft sharpness, and celery or cucumber bring a refreshing crunch. I’ve dressed the salad with a simple Orange Vinaigrette.


Fresh beetroot is very simple to prepare (see directions below). You can even buy vacuum-packed cooked beetroots which can be used if you don’t want to cook them yourself.


The one thing you need to accept when you are making a beetroot salad is that it will turn anything which comes into contact with it magenta. For this reason, I prefer to make beetroot the dominant ingredient so that the entire salad is an attractive bright magenta, rather than just streaked indiscriminately.


[TIP: Working with beetroot is messy, so always remember to wear and apron when dealing with beetroots to avoid stains on your clothes!]





(Serves 4 as a side salad)



Dressing Ingredients:

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp honey

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp orange juice (Freshly squeezed orange juice is best, but bottled juice is also fine)

2 tsp orange zest (Optional. TIP: If using, remember to zest the orange before juicing it!)

Generous pinch of salt



Salad Ingredients:

400g fresh beetroot (approximately 2 medium sized beetroots)

100g feta cheese, cubed

2 celery sticks or 1 large cucumber, diced




  1. Prepare the Orange Vinaigrette by shaking all the dressing ingredients together in a jar with a lid. Keep the dressing to the side while you prepare the salad.
  2. The beetroot needs to be prepared in advance, but it is very easy. (TIP: Remember to wear an apron!) Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Cut the stalks and leaves off the beetroot. Wash the beetroot well, removing any roots from the skin, cover in foil, and bake in an oven-proof dish for 40 minutes to 1 hour. You should be able to pierce the beetroot easily with a skewer. Remove the beetroot from the foil and allow to cool to room temperature. The skin should peel off easily. Dice into small cubes. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  3. Combine the diced beetroot, feta and celery/cucumber in a bowl. Add the dressing and fold everything together gently to avoid the feta from crumbling too much.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



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