Winter Beets

Beetroot Salad-7

2013 felt to me like the year of the beet. Beetroot hummus was a staple in my house throughout the year, often paired with smoked salmon but sometimes just enjoyed solo on toast. We even made a forkful out of it. One of my most memorable dishes of 2013 was Katie Sanderson’s Beet Bourguignon at the winter Living Dinners feast held in a crumblingly decadent old Georgian house on Henrietta Street at the end of November. That Sanderson sure knows what to do with a beet.

There are a few things I would like to leave behind in 2013 (overindulging my fondness for the naughty things in life, my propensity for panic and my inability to organise my finances) but beetroots are definitely something I’m taking with me as I head towards the future.

Beetroot Salad-13

Over the holiday break, I found this Nigel Slater recipe for roast beets and halloumi cheese and served it up for myself and Niall’s New Year’s Eve dinner. A wonderful way to use beets, I have since substituted the cheese for some delicious St Tola ‘feta’, added a few walnuts for crunch and a pinch of chilli for heat.

Irish grown beets are wonderfully easy to find. Fallon & Byrne currently have some fantastically sweet baby Irish beets, which are the ones I used for this bracingly wintery salad.

Beetroot Salad

I’ve read that the leaves from the beetroots make a great addition to a green salad when fried in a little butter – anyone have any other ideas on what to do with the leftover leaves of the beet stalks?

what you need for a beet and cheese salad for 2

8 baby beetroots

Rapeseed or olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Pinch of chilli flakes

For the dressing

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of rapeseed or olive oil

2 tablespoons of hazlenut, walnut or toasted sesame seed oil (walnut oil is easier to find but I happen to have a beautiful bottle of hazlenut oil in my pantry which loves being used for dressings)

1 teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds (so lovely and lemony – available in the Asia Market on Drury Street in Dublin)

To serve

Green salad leaves

A chunk of feta cheese – we used the beautiful St Tola variety (you can of course use crumbly goat cheese or fried strips of halloumi cheese as per the original recipe)

A handful of chopped walnuts, toasted if you like

Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c/gas mark 6. Chop the stalks from the beetroots and keep for another use (any ideas?!). Scrub the beetroots well and transfer to a small roasting dish. Drizzle with a bit of oil, season with salt and pepper and add a very small pinch of chilli flakes. Cover with tin foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife can pierce the beets very easily.

Make the dressing by mixing the lemon, balsamic, oils and crushed coriander seeds together.


When well roasted, remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool a bit before slicing them in two. Put the beets back into their roasting dish and pour over the dressing. Toss well until the beets are glossy with dressing.

Beetroot Salad-10

Assemble two plates with a generous handful of salad leaves in each. Crumble over the feta and arrange the beets on top before sprinkling with walnuts. Drizzle over any leftover dressing and enjoy.

Beetroot Salad-11




Categories: Lunch


  1. I love the shots. It’s hard for me to pick a favourite as beetroot is so photogenic (somewhat like myself). I have an eye out for some nice beetroot to try a ‘new’ recipe that has been in my mind since I got some walnuts last week.
    Happy New Year,

    • Ah thanks a mill, Conor. Glad you like the shots. Those beets sure are handsome! A very happy new year to you too :)

  2. Yes, great photography!

    I love thyme roasted beets with goats cheese, drizzled with honey and serves with lettuce leaves from our garden. Simply divine.

    Thanks also for your list of Dublin eateries. I’ll be up at the end of the month. :-)

    • Hi Marcel, thanks for your comment. Love your version with honey and thyme – yum! Hope you enjoy your trip to Dublin :)

  3. Good to have you back posting recipes Aoife! Definitely don’t throw the leaves and stalks away, I normally cook them with pasta, put a recipe on the blog a couple of years ago:

    • Aw thanks Stef – I’ve missed posting recipes myself! Nice to be back. Thanks for that recipe – looks gorgeous. Might be my dinner tonight :)

  4. I used to work in a restaurant that served beet root hummus, always loved the vibrant colour, never really cook much with beets myself but you have definitely inspired me to have a go now, meabh xox

  5. Sautéed beetroot greens and stalks are amazing. Fry some very thinly sliced garlic in a knob of butter, then add rinsed beetroot greens with whatever water is clinging to them, same as you would for spinach or chard. Sauté in a pan with a lid for a few moments and finish with a pinch of salt and a big squeeze of lemon. Delicious, and more interesting than spinach, it goes really well with fish. The only problem is finding a big enough bunch!

    • Yum – thanks so much for the tip Sarah. Definitely organising myself to have some sautéed beet stalks with our next fish supper!

  6. DRoooool! This is my kind of salad.

    This has just jumped up to number1 on “the list”.


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  8. Absolutely stunning photos Aoife. And a lovely recipe too, I love beetroot and feta so will definitely be trying this.

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  10. Fucking irish food is what they serve to prisoners as punishment.

  11. My family always just cooks the beets and we prepare a salad with vinegar and cumin and that is it. It never crossed our mind that we could also oven roast them. Interesting! This recipe is on our todo list. Thank you.

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