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This simple salad brings together the sweet earthy flavour of beetroots with salty feta and peppery rocket in such a wonderful way. It's great as a side salad or part of a medley of dishes. To make it a more filling main dish you could add a cooked grain like quinoa or pearl barley to bump it up.
Would also work with other greens like mixed salad leaves or mizuna.
Beetroots take a while to cook and so it can be a faff if you're looking for a quick easy meal. My tip is to cook beetroots ahead of time. I'll sometimes roast them days before I actually get round to using them, when I've already got something cooking in the oven, I'll pop them in as well. Beets can keep for about a week in the fridge once cooked.
3 medium beetroots
100g feta cheese
2 handfuls of rocket or salad leaves
1 Handful of walnuts, toasted
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey, maple or agave syrup
pinch of salt and pepper
Bake the beetroots: set your oven to 180 degrees C. Give you beets a scrub under the cold tap to remove any dirt. Don't cut any part of the beetroot at this stage. You want it all intact or the root will “bleed” when it cooks. Rub oil over each beetroot and then wrap each one individually in tin foil and place on a baking tray in the middle of the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can boil the beetroots whole in a pan of water for 45 minutes but baking brings out more of the sweetness of the beets.
Toast the walnuts: Add the walnuts to the oven for the last 10 minutes so they get toasted.
Make the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in jam jar and shake vigorously until all combined. There will probably be more dressing than you need. You can store the rest in the fridge for future salads – it will keep for two weeks.
Once the beets are cooked remove from oven (or pan of water) and let cool for a bit until they're not too hot to touch. Peel the skin off the beetroots – if thoroughly cooked then the skin should have loosened so you should be able to pull the skin off with your fingertips. Or use a peeler if you don't want to have bring pink fingers! Cut the beetroots in quarters and assemble with the leaves, crumbled feta and toasted walnuts.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.