Beetroot, Orange and Fennel Salad

“A warm purple beetroot salad has been a family staple for as long as I can remember,” says Irini Tzortzoglou – and this vibrant dish will add some flare to summer mealtimes.

This salad is best enjoyed at room temperature, so you can easily make it ahead of time, knowing that it’s happily marinating in all those wonderful juices, ready to be served.

Serves: 4


  • handful of pistachio nuts
  • 4–5 golden beetroots, preferably with their stalks
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 packet of watercress
  • 2 baby gem lettuces
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, fronds reserved
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the beetroot stalks:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon juice

For the dressing:

  • 300ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of 1 unwaxed orange
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the pistachios on a baking tray for five to seven minutes, then put aside to cool. Cut the stalks off the beetroots and set aside.

2. Wash and dry the beetroots and place them on a piece of foil large enough to wrap them completely. Drizzle them with a little oil, season with salt and pepper, then add the sprig of thyme and the garlic cloves, wrap well and place in the oven. Check after one hour by inserting a knife into the beetroots, though they may need as long as one-and-a-half hours, depending on their size.

3. Wash the stalks and cut them into pieces about 5cm long. Drop them into a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes, until soft but still with a bit of crunch, then drain and rinse under cold water. Put them into a bowl with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon, and season.

4. Take the beetroots out of the oven when cooked and leave to cool. Peel, thinly slice and put into a bowl. Drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Peel the oranges and divide into segments, discarding the membrane. Rinse and drain the watercress. Trim the ends off the lettuces and slice them horizontally into 0.5cm-thick rings. With a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, shave the fennel.

6. To make the dressing, bring the orange juice and zest to the boil in a small saucepan, then boil until reduced by half. Place in a small blender and add the lemon juice, honey, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and blend to a thick consistency. Add the cardamom seeds and grated ginger and give it a good stir.

7. On a flat serving plate, arrange the beetroot slices, watercress, fennel shavings, orange segments and baby gems in layers, scattering some of the beetroot stalks here and there. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and scatter over the roasted pistachios and fennel fronds.

Under The Olive Tree: Recipes From My Greek Kitchen by Irini Tzortzoglou is published by Headline.

How often do you eat salad? Have you put beetroot in a salad before? Do you have a go-to salad recipe?

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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