A simple salad put together in 10 minutes. Beetroot, orange and feta make for great combinations. The trick is young, tender beetroot, which you cook yourself. Peel, quarter as soon as possible, and douse with plenty of apple cider vinegar. Add fresh mint, coriander, garlic and a simple dressing, and you have a delicious lunch, beetroot and orange salad with feta.
The garlic must be sliced thinly and tossed in with vinegar and beetroot. Leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Indeed, a recipe that ticks the Eat The Rainbow box. I think beetroot is an overlooked vegetable, perhaps childhood memories of its earthy taste (in a bad way) with nothing to enhance its flavour. Or maybe the undercooked fibrous beetroot – well past its sell date. 😱
Tender fresh beetroot has a sweet and earthy flavour that lends itself to many different pairings. Use cooked beets in the beetroot and orange salad with feta and raw in this recipe for beetroot salad with mango and chilli. You can also adapt this recipe and use raw grated beetroot, zest the orange and use the juice for the dressing. I have given details for both versions in the recipe card below.
Cooking Fresh Beetroots
If you can, avoid buying pre-cooked beetroot, they will put you off for life. Buy small, medium-sized beets, ideally still with their leaves, proving how fresh they are. Save the leaves to cook later (or add halfway through cooking). Drop the whole beetroots, complete with skin, into boiling water (no need to add salt). They should be ready in 20-25 minutes (or as soon as you can easily insert a knife). The messy part is peeling them – be careful beetroot juice does stain. Quarter or cut into six segments so the vinegar can soak in.
Any crumbly soft cheese would work here, but feta is my preferred choice. It adds a salty creaminess offsetting the orange’s sweetness and the beetroot’s earthy taste. I would also stick with the coriander and mint combination.
Try out more winter and summer salad recipes here.
Beetroot and Orange Salad with Feta
- 4 medium fresh beetroots
- 1 large orange juiced and zested for the raw grated version
- 75 g feta a guide – add more or less to your liking.
- 1 clove garlic (finely sliced)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
- ½ tsp herb salt or salt
- generous pinch ground coriander optional
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- roughly chopped coriander or mint to serve
- Add the whole (unpeeled) beetroots to boiling water. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until a knife is easily inserted.
- Run the beets under cold water and peel them as soon as possible. Cut into 4 or 6 segments. Add to the serving bowl, sprinkle with half the salt and ground coriander. Add the garlic and fresh herbs and douse with apple cider vinegar. Gently toss. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Peel the orange, remove the pith and cut it into thin slices. Arrange on top of the beetroot and sprinkle with crumbled feta.
- Dress with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately decorated with fresh mint or coriander.
For the raw grated version
- Peel and grate the beetroots with the large grater. Zest half the orange.
- Add the beets and zest to the salad bowl, together with the garlic and herbs. Sprinkle with half the salt and ground coriander. Toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Add a tablespoon each of vinegar, orange juice and olive oil. Leave to chill in the fridge before serving. Taste again after chilling and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve topped with crumbled feta and a some fresh coriander or mint.