Beetroot salad with feta and roasted walnuts

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I never knew I loved beetroots until I tried this hearty, healthy and flavorful beetroot salad with feta and walnuts recipe. As a teenager I stayed at the boarding school for 5 years. During this time, we ate beetroots at least 2 times a week. After I had completed grade 12, I promised myself not to eat beetroots ever again. I’m so glad that my sister in law, Anna has introduced me to this recipe.

Anna was in Marseille, France, a few years ago for a couple of months. When she returned to Germany she made beetroot salad at our family reunion dinner and it was a huge hit. I asked her for the recipe and made it millions of times since then.

This beetroot salad recipe is easy to follow, easily adjustable and uses a handful of ingredients: beetroots, good quality feta cheese and walnuts. The dressing is made with balsamic vinegar, sunflower oil, mustard, sugar and seasoned with salt and pepper.

You can

  • use the dressing on other salads as well.
  • prepare the beetroots and the dressing a day or two ahead of time and store in the fridge.
  • use store-bought cooked beetroots if you decide to make this salad on the last minute. Instead of walnuts, feel free to substitute them with pine nuts, pistachios or almonds.

Beetroot salad makes a perfect appetizer or main dish served with Turkish flatbread, Italian flatbread or fresh herb bread.

Health benefits of beetroots

Beetroots also known as beets are regarded as the “new,, superfood for athletes. They are loaded with vitamins, iron and antioxidants. Studies had shown that beetroots boost energy levels, help treat anemia, reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow.

Ingredients for beetroot salad

For the salad

500 g (17.6 oz) raw beetroots
50 g (1.8 oz) walnuts halves
200 g (7.1 oz) good quality feta cheese
salt and a pinch of caraway seeds (to remove the beetroots earthy taste (OPTIONAL))
fresh basil leaves for garnish

For the dressing

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon sugar/ honey/ maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon mustard

To roast the nuts (OPTIONAL)

1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt

How to make beetroot salad with feta cheese and walnuts

Wash the beetroots very well, put them in the pot and fill it with water such that the beets are under water. Add salt and a pinch of caraway seeds.

Cover and cook at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until soft. The cooking time differs defending on the size of the beetroots.


How to check if the beets are soft:

  • You can either insert a fork or a toothpick into one of the beets, to test if they are done. If the fork or toothpick goes easily into the beet, then it’s done, if you need some effort to put it in, then it’s not.

Remove the beets from the pot and let cool (about 10 minutes).

In the mean time cut feta cheese into cubes.

Since I didn’t have cracked walnuts, I had to crack them myself using a meat tenderizer hammer.

Roast the walnuts: Take a non – stick pan, add walnuts, water, sugar and a pinch of salt and heat over medium heat.

Keep stirring for about 3 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the nuts are all coated with a thin layer of sugar. Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts to a parchment paper to cool.

Make the dressing: In a cup or jar with a tight fitting lid mix the balsamic vinegar, salt and sugar and whisk or shake until the sugar has dissolved. Add mustard and then oil and mix well. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Using a knife peel the beetroots and cut them into slices. Arrange the beetroot slices on a large plate or platter.

Drizzle with all of the dressing all over the beetroots.

Then layer with feta cubes and sprinkle with fresh basil and sugar roasted walnuts.

Everyone can just take salad from the platter to their plates.

Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see! Snap a pic and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or @ester.kocht on Instagram. Or simply write a comment.

Beetroot salad with feta and sugar roasted walnuts

I never knew I loved beetroots until I tried this hearty, healthy and flavorful beetroot salad with feta, walnuts and vinaigrette.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cool Time10 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: condiment, Main Course, Salad, Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: French, German, Greek
Keyword: beets, Christmas, family dinner, gluten free, green vegetables, Low carb, potluck, vegetarian, vinaigrette
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Non - stick pan
  • Medium pot
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • glass or jar with a tight fitting lid
  • spoon
  • Platter
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 500 g (17.6 oz) r beetroots
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) walnut halves
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) feta cheese
  • salt and caraway seed, to remove the beetroots earthy taste OPTIONAL
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

For the salad dressing

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

To roast the walnuts (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Wash the beetroots very well, put them in the pot and fill the pot with water such that the beets are under water. Add salt and a pinch of caraway seeds. Cover and cook at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until soft. (SEE NOTE 1 & 2). Remove the beets from the pot and let cool (about 10 minutes).
  • In the mean time cut feta cheese into cubes. Since I didn't have cracked walnuts, I had to crack them myself using a meat tenderizer hammer.
    Roast the walnuts: Take a non - stick pan, add walnuts, water, sugar and a pinch of salt and heat over medium heat. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the nuts are all coated with a thin layer of sugar. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the nuts to a parchment paper and let cool.
  • Make the dressing: In a glass or jar with a tight fitting lid mix the balsamic vinegar, salt and sugar and whisk or shake until the sugar has dissolved. Add mustard and then oil and mix well. Season with freshly ground pepper. 
  • Using a knife peel the beetroots and cut them into slices. Arrange the beetroot slices on a large plate or platter. Divide salad dressing all over the beetroots. Then layer with feta cubes and scatter the fresh basil leaves and sugar roasted walnuts on top. Everyone can just take salad from the plate to their plates.

Notes

  1. The cooking time differs defending on the size of the beetroots.
  2. How to check if the beets are soft: You can either insert a fork or a toothpick into one of the beets, to test if they are done. If the fork or toothpick goes easily into the beet, then it's done, if you need some effort to put it in, then it's not.

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