roasted beet, orange and feta salad with walnuts

beet_orange_feta_salad_0There were two things I couldn’t wait to make at my granny’s house when I was a little girl.  The first being no bake cookies.  They were always perfect, no one’s come close to my granny’s (believe me, I have tried many others to compare).  The second was salad.  Yes, salad.  I can still hear the sound that green lettuce holder made when opened.  Granny would let me dig through all her possible salad ingredients, making a huge mess in the process, and then smiled as I poured the grand finale of poppy seed dressing over my creation.  It was fresh, crunchy and satisfying – something every 7 year old would dive right into (ok, I was a little odd).

While my choice of dressing and ingredients have evolved my love for salad has not lessened.  Cold or warm, lettuce or herbs – it really doesn’t matter for me as long as there is exciting flavor and an interesting combination of textures.  Sticky has been on a beet kick lately and I have to admit it is a pretty spectacular vegetable.  The color alone screams “I am good for you, eat me now!”.  And then paired with it’s soul mate, the orange, well, let’s just say it’s what basil is to tomatoes (awesome).

beet_orange_feta_salad_2Roasted Beet Orange and Feta Salad with Walnuts (serves 4 as a side, 2 main course – inspired by bon appètit)



  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 4 medium unpeeled beets, tops trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounce bag of spinach
  • 1/4 medium run onion finely sliced
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled with segments removed from between membranes
  • 1/2 crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 toasted walnuts
  • salt & pepper

beet_orange_feta_salad_1 beet_orange_feta_salad_3Preparation:


Whisk vinegar, mustard, orange zest, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets and oil in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place beets in a row on a sheet of foil, wrap and secure tightly. Place directly on oven rack; roast until tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Open foil; cool 30 minutes. Rub skins off beets (to remove the glorious color from your hands simple wash with mild soap and coarse salt); cut each in half then in 1/4″ slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place spinach and onion in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Divide among plates (or arrange on large platter). Add beets segments to same bowl. Add 2 tablespoons vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange beets atop spinach; top with orange segments and sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Serve, passing any remaining vinaigrette.beet_orange_feta_salad_5

beet_orange_feta_salad_4This is slightly more refined than my iceberg lettuce, peas and poppy seed dressing days (is it just me or does that sound really good right now).  As far as that no bake cookie recipe is concerned I am going to keep that between Granny and I – for now at least.




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7 Responses to roasted beet, orange and feta salad with walnuts

  1. Renee says:

    This salad looks really delicious! I love beets! In fact, my mom still brings me some from her garden as often as she can each summer!

    I smiled as I read how “odd” it must be to like salad (and poppy seed dressing) at 7, because I would say that same thing about my 7 year old! She would probably love a salad like this and I’m glad that she would!

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Thanks Renee! I am glad I am not the only kid who was salad obsessed – and yes, it’s great to have them loving healthier food early. 🙂

      – brandy j

    • Diane says:

      My kids ate all sorts of veggies. The secret was that I didn’t allow anyone to tell them they wouldn’t like them. As for me, apparently my fave snack as a preschooler was radishes with butter.

  2. Pingback: Foods by Color: Beets

  3. isabel says:

    Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I love this recipe! Have already made it twice – last time for guests who were big fans too 🙂
    Oh, and I was also obsessedwith salads and even olives when I was little (still am really )

    Thanks for the recipe

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hi Isabel! Thank you for popping in and the sweet comment! I am so thrilled to here you are enjoying the salad! xo, brandy j

  4. Diane says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Was trying to figure out what to do with a bag of spinach and we happen to have all the other ingredients on hand (using clementines instead of navels). Yum!