Beet, Feta & Walnut Salad with Mint

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Beet, Feta and Walnut Salad

We’ve had a mild winter in Virginia. We’ve had more warm days than I thought possible for winter and the few snowfalls we’ve had are barely worth mentioning. Still, I feel slightly robbed. When it’s winter, I want it to be winter. I love the feeling of sitting next to a warm, crackling fire while the snow and wind rages outside. Waking up to the news that school has been called off, curling up with my girls and making hot cocoa – that’s where it’s at when it comes to winter.

I have a guest today, and where she’s at, it’s summertime. And with her, she’s brought a summer salad that looks so divine that I’m certain it can pull even me from my winter funk. Christina from The Hungry Australian is wonderfully talented and has many delicious recipes on her beautiful site. I’m honored that she’s shared one of them here.


It’s summer in Australia. The sky is bluer than blue and the days are long, hot and lazy.

The schools are on holidays so my five year old daughter spends each morning splashing happily in a local pool, learning to swim. As I type this my toddler son is running around the house with just a nappy on, a piece of watermelon clutched tightly in one fat little fist, the juice dripping down his chin.

I don’t feel like cooking elaborate meals during this relaxed time so salads are perfect.

This recipe was inspired by a dish my old school friend, Megan, brought for lunch recently. Megan was the first person I met at high school and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Megan used canned beetroots in her salad but I’ve roasted my beetroots for a milder flavour (canned beetroots often have vinegar and sugar added). But if you’re in a hurry, canned beetroots would be fine.

Most salads are at their best when they have just been made but this salad holds up surprisingly well the next day. The leaves won’t be as crisp as they were, and the beetroot stains everything pink, but the flavours come together beautifully.

Serve this salad with sourdough bread and salted butter for a simple lunch or supper (serves 2-3 people), or with duck or venison and other dishes as part of a special dinner menu (serves 6).
Beetroot, Feta, Walnut & Mint Salad

{printable recipe without photos available at the very bottom of post}

3 medium-large beetroots
142 grams (5 ounces) mixed rocket, baby spinach and mixed lettuce leaves
200 grams (7 ounces) Danish feta (I love the creaminess of Danish feta)
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
30 grams (1 ounce) roasted and salted pepitas (sunflower seeds)
30 grams (1 ounce) walnut pieces
Small handful fresh basil leaves
Large handful fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Sea salt to taste (you won’t need much because the feta is salty)
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees fan-forced) or (350F)
Wash the beetroots and then wrap the beets in tinfoil. This will make them look like sentinels fromThe Matrix.
beets roastedRoast for 50-60 minutes (insert a skewer to test if the largest one is done). Let cool for twenty minutes – they’re much harder to peel when hot.
roasted beetsUsing your fingers, peel the skin from the beets and chop off the stalks.
Slice beetroot into one centimetre pieces and then quarter the slices.
In a bowl, arrange a bed of washed and spin-dried, mixed leaves with beetroots on top. Crumble in fetta cheese and then sprinkle over pepitas, walnuts, mint and basil leaves.
To make dressing, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon and salt to taste (try a pinch first) in a small cup and whisk furiously.
Pour dressing over salad and finish with a good grind of black pepper.
As the beetroot will turn everything bright pink, I prefer to serve the salad untossed so the colours remain true, and then mix the salad at the table just before we eat.
beet, walnut and feta salad

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