Beetroot & Feta Salad With Fresh Herb Dressing

Cook Eat WorldEuropeanTurkishBeetroot & Feta Salad With Fresh Herb Dressing

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: October 12, 2019

Earthy and sweet beetroot is the perfect partner to sharp, salty feta cheese and when it’s finished with a fragrant herb dressing, the holy trinity is complete! Learn how simple this flavourful salad is to make at home…

Roasted beetroot with herb dressing and feta cheese

This salad takes full advantage of all the sweet earthiness of beetroot. Beet are one of my personal favourite vegetables and I serve it all summer long in various forms. This salad is a simple and perfect combination of colour, flavour and texture and the most asked-for salad from friends and family.

Why it works

There are four flavour components to the salad that work in perfect harmony together, and the reason this salad is so successful.

  1. Sweet - The earthy sweet notes of beetroot make for the perfect base to this salad
  2. Salt - Feta cheese is the perfect accompaniment to beetroot, in all its briney saltiness and creamy texture. Be sure to buy a good quality variety. Bulgarian Sheep's Feta is my favourite.
  3. Acid - Lemon juice or wine vinegar create an acid hit and light pickle for the beetroot which compliments its sweetness.
  4. Herb - To round the flavours off, a simple herb dressing is drizzled over. It balances perfectly in its aromatic grassiness to the other flavours. I change up the herbs all the time - see below for what herbs go with beetroot.

Stuff you'll need

Creating this salad is simple. Few ingredients, but big on flavour. Here's what goes into my beetroot & feta salad.

  • Beetroot - red or yellow beet are fine, red is more earthy while yellow a little sweeter.
  • Feta Cheese - my favourite variety is Bulgarian Sheep's Feta, but any sharp, salty feta will do.
  • Herbs - In this recipe, I use fresh parsley and mint which are fabulous with beet and feta, but I'll often change things up (see below)
  • Wine Vinegar - I'll use whatever I have, but usually red wine, sherry vinegar or black/white balsamic vinegar.
Fresh betroot on a platter

Step by Step

Making this beetroot & feta salad is simple! I urge you to cook your own beet as the shop bought often lacks flavour. Don't use jarred or canned, this salad needs fresh.

  1. Cooking the beetroot

    Cooking beetroot is easy, there are two popular ways. To boil it like most vegetables, or by using my preferred method: roasting. I feel that most of the flavour (and goodness) seeps out of a beet during boiling - when you roast it, the juices have nowhere to go, so all the nutrients and amazing colour is intensified within the vegetable. I wrap mine in foil and roast. Just remember to skewer them first. I had a beetroot explode in the oven once - as you can imagine this was a colourful experience. Once it's cooked and cooled a little you can peel it and chop/slice into bitesize pieces and coat lightly in vinegar or lemon juice.

  2. Making the herb dressing

    Simply blend the herbs with some good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a little vinegar and that's it. I use a stick/immersion blender to make things easy, you can also use a pestle & mortar.

  3. Arranging the salad

    Make a single layer of beetroot on a platter and then crumble over the feta cheese. Drizzle over the herb dressing and that's it! Done!

Pro Tips and Substitutes

You can switch up the ingredients to give different flavours, here are a few suggestions that I'll often incorporate into my salad.

  • Beetroot - Red or yellow beetroot is fine, I'll often use a combination of both too.
  • Cheese - Feta is my go-to but Turkish peynir, labne, goats cheese are also amazing! I've also made this dish using Italian burrata or buffalo mozzarella and lastly an aged Spanish Manchego cheese - all with excellent results.
  • Herbs - What herbs go with beetroot? Pretty much anything! Tarragon, oregano, marjoram, basil or dill are delicious. You could also create this salad by using my recipe for Georgian Green Ajika - wonderfully spicy, herbal condiment made from chillies, herbs and fenugreek.
  • Other toppings - Nuts & seeds are a great extra topping, try some unsalted pistachios, walnuts or pine nuts or a scattering of sunflower seeds. You can also scatter over a few pomegranate seeds for a pop of sourness.
Roasted beetroot with herb dressing and feta cheese

Serving and storing suggestions

This salad is a great accompaniment to meat, poultry or fish as part of a larger spread. It's also great on its own with a few flatbreads. Serve cold or at room temperature. You can make in advance and it'll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's not suitable for freezing.

Ready to get cooking?

So, as easy, tasty salads go, it doesn't get easier than this delicious beetroot & feta salad. Such a harmonious, complex melding of flavour, colour and texture! It's a great salad to have in your arsenal as it really does go with just about anything.

More beetroot dishes & complimentary recipes

If you liked this Beetroot recipe, there are a few more delicious suggestions below. There's also a few other options to accompany this salad.

Roasted beetroot with herb dressing and feta cheese

Beetroot & Feta Salad With Fresh Herb Dressing

Rate this recipe

5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Recipe by Lee
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 167

Ingredients

  • 4 small beetroot
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200ºC. Chop off the beetroot stalks but leave on the skin. Wrap each beetroot individually in cooking foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 40-60 minutes (depending on size) until soft. Cool for 20 minutes. Gently slip off the skins with your fingers - they should come off easily. Cut into small chunks, cover and cool to room temperature.
    Once cooled, combine with 1 tbsp of vinegar and a little salt & pepper and set aside.
  • Combine the herbs with 2 tbsp vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil and blend using a stick blender until semi-smooth. Set aside.
  • Arrange the cooled beetroot in a single layer on a platter. Crumble over the feta cheese and then drizzle over the herb dressing.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes

This salad is versatile in all of the ingredients it uses. Switch up some of them to create new and interesting flavours.
  • Beetroot - Red or yellow are fine, or a combo of both.
  • Cheese - Try salty Turkish Peynir, labne, goat's cheese, mozzarella or burrata
  • Herbs - For a variety of flavour, try fresh mint, tarragon, oregano, marjoram or basil. You could also use dried mint, dill or basil.
  • Nuts - a little crunch is great in the form of nuts. I like pistachio, pine nuts, almonds or sunflower seeds.
This salad will stay fresh in the fridge (well covered) for 3-4 days. It's not a contender for freezing.
Serve alongside many Middle Eastern or Mediterranean style dishes. It goes with pretty much everything like fish, meat, poultry or other plant-based delights.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal (8%) | Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) | Cholesterol: 22mg (7%) | Sodium: 345mg (15%) | Potassium: 282mg (8%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 7g (8%) | Vitamin A: 270IU (5%) | Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) | Calcium: 139mg (14%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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