Healthy raw beetroot and feta salad with apples, a crisp and delicious autumn or winter beet salad with a simple vinaigrette.
BEETROOT FETA SALAD
A super simple raw beet salad with feta, apples and sunflower seeds. So good, you will keep making it again and again.
If you haven’t had raw beetroot before, you should definitely give it a try, raw beetroots are amazing. Not against cooked or roasted beets, they are delightful as well, but raw beets are really something special: crisp and refreshing, sweet and earthy in flavor.
This beetroot and feta salad is a great way of introducing your taste buds to fresh, raw beetroot. The intense sweetness of the beets is perfectly balance by the slight tanginess of the apples and the saltiness of the feta cheese. Add those amazing roasted sunflower seeds and you will be in heaven.
This raw beetroot salad is a great recipe to make whenever I buy another raw beetroot in the Russian supermarket. Fresh beets are not so easy to find around here, not in a regular supermarket anyway. Lots of cooked beetroot, pickled beetroot, but rarely fresh beetroot.
Another story in the Russian supermarket, I suppose Eastern Europeans are not so taunted by the thought of eating raw beets or taking the time to roast or cook them themselves.
So, whenever I happen to see fresh beets, I always buy a couple. And I say only a couple because they are always overlarge, much bigger than the cooked beets I buy more often.
Beetroot soup, beetroot salad, beetroot carpaccio, beetroot curries and so on, all recipes I cook using fresh beets.
What do fresh beets taste like?
Many people avoid buying and eating raw beetroot, fearing the earthy flavor they might have heard of, some people even go as far as to say that beets taste like dirt!!!!
But don’t be afraid, give raw beets a try, once you know the taste, you will love it!
Apparently, “the earthy taste of beets is due to an organic compound which microbes produce in the soil, a compound called geosmin. This compound also gives off an earthy smell of a freshly plowed field. Spinach, lettuce, and mushrooms also have high geosmin .”
BENEFITS OF EATING BEETROOT
Eating raw vegetables is always a good idea when you think about nutrients and health benefits and raw beetroot is no exception.
- For instance, they are good source of fiber, folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, copper and so on, some of these components are good in boosting the immunity.
- Low in calories, thus good for weight loss.
- Beetroot are a good source of nitrates, which can help keep the blood pressure in check and, apparently, raw beetroot are even better than cooked beetroot in this regard.
- Studies have shown that beetroot can increase athletic performance. Athletes consume beetroot juice a couple of hours before training and competing to improve the use of oxygen and delay the point of exhaustion.
- Beets have anti-inflammatory properties.
- The fiber in beets helps with digestion.
- They might help support mental help by increasing oxygen flow.
- The antioxidants in beets might help in cancer prevention.
HOW TO MAKE RAW BEETROOT SALAD?
Roast the sunflower seeds:
- Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds.
- Roast the seeds for a few minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Make sure to shake the pan often, so that the sunflower seeds can become golden on both sides without burning.
- Don’t leave the pan unattended, stand by and shake it often.
Prepare the vegetables:
- Wash the beetroot to remove any dirt. Peel the beetroot with a vegetable peeler. Wear latex gloves, if you are worried about staining your skin.
- Slice the beetroot very thinly. Use a large chef’s knife. For more accurate slices, use a mandoline.
- Set aside is a bowl. Keep the beetroot and apple slices separate.
- Quarter the apple, remove the core and cut the apple quarters into thin slices as well. Immediately toss the apples slices with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, this will help prevent the apple getting brown. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil and sugar. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the salad:
- Add about 1/3 of the dressing to the bowl containing the beetroot slices. Toss gently to coat
- Add about 1/3 of the dressing to the bowl containing the apple slices. Toss gently to coat.
- The reason I advice tossing the beetroot and apple slices with the dressing separately are purely estethical, otherwise the apple slices will turn pink.
- Arrange the beetroot and apple slices on a serving platter.
- Crumble the feta cheese on top and sprinkle the sunflower seeds and the chopped chives all over.
- Drizzle the remaining dressing on the beetroot and feta salad.
HOW TO SERVE THE BEETROOT AND FETA SALAD?
Serve the raw beetroot salad immediately.
This beet salad with feta makes a great side dish for chicken, for instance. Why not try it together with the skillet chicken breast, prosciutto wrapped chicken, crispy Parmesan chicken or chicken breast fritters?
MORE BEETROOT RECIPES?
PIN IT FOR LATER!
- Beetroot feta salad:
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 350 g/ 12.3 oz/ about 4 medium beets
- 1 red crisp apple
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 50 g/ 1.8 oz/ ½ cup (crumbled) feta
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons good quality vegetable oil (sunflower or canola oil)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- Roast the sunflower seeds in a non-stick pan on medium heat until golden. Shake the pan very often. Remove the seeds from the pan immediately and leave to cool on a plate.
- Wash and peel the beets using a vegetable peeler. Use latex gloves to avoid stains on your hands.
- Slice the beets very thinly or use a mandoline for more regular, nicer slices. Place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Quarter and core the apple. Slice thinly. Place the slices in another bowl and toss gently with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside.
- To make the dressing, mix together the oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the beetroot slices with 1/3 of the dressing.
- Toss the apple slices with 1/3 of the dressing.
- Arrange beetroot and apple slices on a serving platter. Crumble the feta cheese on top and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and chives.
- Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve as suggested above.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1/2 of the salad
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 370 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 22mg Sodium: 1380mg Carbohydrates: 36g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 27g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g