Roasted beetroot and marinated feta salad with dill and toasted almonds
- August 2015
- Serves 3-4
- Hands-on 25 min, oven 50 min, plus marinating
This summery salad recipe is packed full of flavour with earthy, sweet beetroot, crunchy almonds and a homemade marinated feta.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 35.8g (9.8g saturated)
- 20.8g (17.4g sugars)
For the marinated feta
- 200g good quality feta cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil for marinating
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- Peeled zest 1 lemon
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly bashed
For the salad
- 10 beetroot (try to find a mix of colours), peeled, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (see tips)
- 1 small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 140g peppery salad leaves (we used rocket and watercress)
- To marinate the feta, put it whole into a sealable container that can just accommodate it, with a bit of room left for the herbs and lemon. Pour enough olive oil over to cover it completely, then add the rest of the ingredients, cover and seal. Chill for at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks (see Make Ahead).
- To roast the beetroot, heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Toss the wedges in a bowl with the olive oil and seasoning, then put into a large roasting tin, allowing them room to properly crisp up (see tips). Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and roast for 20 minutes more, turning every now and then, until the beetroot are lightly caramelised on the outside and soft in the middle. Add the almonds for the last 5 minutes of cooking, then tip it all into a bowl.
- For the dressing, mix the pomegranate molasses with 3 tbsp of the marinating oil from the feta, the dill and shallot, and season well (you may need less salt if your feta is very salty). Put the salad leaves into the beetroot bowl, add the dressing and toss well to combine. Crumble the feta, add to the bowl and toss everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve immediately with good bread.
Make sure the beetroot is properly roasted. The skin should be just bubbled and the edges blackening, to give them a sticky texture and caramelised flavour.
Pomegranate molasses is widely available in supermarkets, but if you can’t find it, some balsamic glaze will do the job. There are plenty of variations to try: roast squash instead of beetroot, or vary the herbs, cheese or nuts, etc. The aim is to get a mix of crunchy, salty, sweet, creamy and sour.
Marinate the feta up to 2 weeks ahead. You can serve this dish at room temperature, in which case you can roast the beetroot 24 hours ahead, chill overnight, then bring back to room temperature to serve.
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