I think one of my subconscious goals in life is to create as many salad recipes as possible (so I'm sorry if you don't like salads, we can't be friends). Almost any ingredient can be made into a delicious salad, so why not experiment? There's a lot going on in this beet salad. It has simple roasted chioggia beets. It has delicious sesame sunflower crisp bites. It has broiled feta.
I realize this may be too many steps for you but if you have the time and the will, this salad is up there in the favorite ranks. Everything comes together for a delicious, slightly sweet/crunchy bite. Broiling feta gives it a bit of char flavor, which I think may be how I only want to eat feta from now on. I found that different varieties performed a bit better than others.
If the feta feels a bit wet, I'd pass on the broiling. I ended up a couple times with more of a feta charred puddle. It was still delicious and worked on the salad but lost a bit of the ease!
Vegan: I love the feta for the tang but if you want to make this beet salad vegan, drop the feta from the recipe.
Nuts: Swap out the sunflower seeds for almonds (delicious!)
Vegetable: I know not everyone is a fan of beets. Roasted carrots would also work well within this combination. Depending on the season, roasted sweet potato could also be used.
Beet Salad with Broiled Feta and Sesame Sunflower Seeds
This salad is a bit more time-intensive but the it's a beauty of a dish. You could always skip broiling the feta (I just like the bit of char it adds!)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 side salads or 2 lunch-sized salads 1x
- Category: salad
- ½ pound red or chioggia beets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 ounces feta, in brick form (not crumbles)
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch of black pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
- Heat oven to 400˚F. Scrub the beets well, trim the ends, and cut into ¼” cubes. Place on a square of parchment on half a sheet tray (the other half will hold the seed mixture). Toss with the olive oil and salt.
- In a bowl, combine the sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, honey, olive oil, and salt. Toss until well combined then place on a separate piece of parchment paper, next to the beets (or on a second sheet tray- I’m lazy and like to consolidate).
- Place the tray in the oven and let the seed mixture crisp for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while the beets roast for another 25 to 35 minutes, until tender. Remove and turn on your oven’s broiler.
- Place the feta in a roasting dish or small sheet tray. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with the pepper. Place under the broiler and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is browning (it may melt a bit, that’s okay). Remove from oven and let cool.
- Assemble the salad with the lettuce, beets, sunflower seeds, crumbled feta, and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
- Serving Size: ½ the salad
- Calories: 469
- Sugar: 14.7
- Sodium: 640
- Fat: 40.6
- Saturated Fat: 8.8
- Carbohydrates: 22.8
- Protein: 9.4
- Cholesterol: 25.3
Keywords: salad, beets, feta
Beets are a year-round vegetable for me: I always have beets stowed away in my crisper. The greens make for a nice addition to stir-frys and sautés. Also, the beet roots keep for a couple of weeks and can be used in many different ways (the cupcakes are a particular favorite of mine). Look for all the different varieties as they can be used interchangeably, each adding a lovely pop of color to meals.