Indulge in a burst of flavors with this blood orange, pickled beetroot walnut feta salad, drizzled with a simple homemade orange vinaigrette salad dressing. This salad is a beautiful medley of colors and textures, with the earthy flavor of the beets pairing perfectly with the salty feta cheese and crunchy walnuts. The blood oranges also known as raspberry oranges, add a touch of sweetness and tartness, which is balanced out by the tangy and zesty orange vinaigrette.
This salad is a refreshing and satisfying option for a light lunch. It is also the perfect side salad to complement a hearty meal. If you love beets as much as we do, you’re going to love this salad! Serve with our Cuban pork roast, Eggplant Pirogue or Braised Short Ribs.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- It’s so good!: This delicious beet salad has a flavorful and is perfect balance of ingredients, with each element adding its unique texture and taste to the dish.
- Quick assembly: Once all the ingredients are prepped, assembling the salad is usually quick and easy. Simply toss everything together in a large bowl, and you’re done!
- It’s healthy: This delicious salad is packed with nutrients and health benefits, such as fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, heart-healthy fats, protein, and vitamin C.
- It’s versatile: This dish can be customized to suit individual tastes by substituting ingredients, adding other veggies and fruits or using a different salad dressing. You can make it a main dish by topping with the protein of your choice!
Overview of Main Ingredients Needed
See recipe card for full recipe, ingredient list and exact measurements. See substitutions section for alternatives and variations.
- Pickled Beets: Beets are a nutrient-dense root vegetable that are high in fiber, folate, and potassium. The pickling process can further enhance the health benefits of beets by increasing the concentration of probiotics, which support gut health. You can pickle your own beets or use canned beets. In our case, we used a jar of Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets.
- Blood Orange Segments: The orange segments, or supremes, provide a burst of juicy sweetness to the salad. See below instructions on how to supreme an orange.
- Mixed Greens: We used a mix of Spinach Leaves, Arugula, Beet Greens, Frisee, Radicchio, Kale and Romaine Lettuce but feel free to get creative here.
- Walnuts: Not only do walnuts add a satisfying crunch to our salad, they are a good source of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
- Feta Cheese Crumbles: Feta cheese can be bought either in block form that can be easily crumbled, or already crumbled in pre-packaged form.
Orange Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil is a healthy source of fats and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
- Champagne Vinegar: Champagne vinegar is a mild, slightly sweet vinegar that can add a subtle tanginess to the dressing.
- Orange Juice: Orange juice adds a natural sweetness and citrus flavor to the dressing, while also providing a boost of vitamin C. You can use the juice from a blood orange (raspberry orange) or regular orange.
- Garlic: You can use fresh garlic cloves, garlic paste or garlic powder. We used fresh in this recipe.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard adds another tangy layer to the dressing.
- Honey: Optional. Adding honey to the dressing is optional, as it provides a subtle sweetness.
How to Supreme an Orange
One of the stars in this salad are the blood orange segments a.k.a. supremes. Supreming an orange is a technique that is used to remove the skin and pith from an orange to leave behind the juicy segments. Here are the steps to supreme an orange:
- Cut off the top and bottom of the orange with a sharp knife to create flat surfaces. You should be able to see the orange at each end. If you still see lots of pith cut off a bit more.
- Place the orange on one of the flat surfaces and use a sharp knife to carefully slice off the skin and pith, following the curve of the fruit from top to bottom. Repeat this process, rotating the orange as you go, until all of the skin and pith is removed.
- Hold the orange in one hand over a bowl to catch the juices and use a sharp knife to slice along the membranes on either side of each segment, releasing the segments from the fruit. Be sure to cut as close to the membrane as possible to avoid removing too much of the juicy flesh.
- Once all of the segments are removed, squeeze the remaining juice from the orange into the bowl.
If that was still a bit confusing check out this video by Cleaver Cooking. Not only is it informal but it is highly entertaining!
How to Make the Orange Beetroot Walnut Feta Salad
Make the Orange Vinaigrette
Begin by whisking together the minced garlic, dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in the orange juice and champagne vinegar until well combined.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Once all the ingredients are well combined, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Store the orange vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Give the vinaigrette a good shake or whisk before serving over your favorite salad greens or grilled vegetables.
Make the Salad
Place the pickled beets into a strainer (one that is stain proof!) and let them drain to remove excess liquid. Once drained, chop the beets into slices or chunks, if needed. Our beets were already chopped pretty small so there was no need to for additional prep.
Spread a bed of mixed greens onto a salad bowl, large serving platter or plate.
Pour the orange vinaigrette dressing over the greens, and toss the greens to coat with the salad dressing.
Arrange the chopped beets and blood orange segments over the greens.
Crumble feta cheese over the top of the salad.
Finally, sprinkle the walnuts over the top of the salad. Serve and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
We think this salad’s greatest feature is its high degree of customization. Here are a few recommendations.
- Pickled Beets: You can boil or roast beets if you don’t care for the pickled variety. You can also substitute other pickled vegetables, such as carrots or red onions. You can also use red beets or even golden beets.
- Oranges: Try experimenting with other fruits, such as grapefruit, sliced apples, pears, or strawberries.
- Walnuts: Get creative with other types of nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or pistachios. You can also substitute with seeds, such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Feta Cheese: Not a fan of crumbled feta? Use other crumbled cheese, such as blue cheese or goat cheese. To keep this recipe vegan, just omit the cheese altogether.
- Champagne Vinegar: If you don’t have champagne vinegar, you can use other types of vinegar, such as white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
- Honey: You can use other sweeteners, such as maple syrup, agave nectar or brown sugar. You can also omit the sweetener for a less sweet dressing.
- Add More Veggies: Try adding in sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes or red onion to the salad. For soft crunch top with Green Goddess Kale Chips.
- Add Protein: Top the salad with baked chicken breast, blackened salmon or grilled steak for a protein-packed meal.
- Add Grains: Quinoa, barley, farro, and couscous are all great grains that can be added to this salad to make it more filling and nutritious.
- Add Fresh Herbs: For even more refreshing salad have fun adding herbs like mint leaves, fresh parsley or fresh dill.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the salad ingredients and dressing ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Assemble the salad just before serving.
Can I make this salad vegan?
Yes, you can make this salad vegan by omitting the feta cheese or substituting it with a vegan cheese alternative.
This orange beetroot walnut feta salad with orange vinaigrette is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors that come together to create a delicious and nutritious dish. The ingredients provide a range of health benefits, such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and increased satiety. Plus, the salad is easy to customize with substitutions and can be made ahead of time for a convenient side dish or flavorful meal. This salad is sure to satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.
Blood Orange, Pickled Beet, Walnut and Feta Salad
For The Salad:
- 8 oz pickled beets
- 1 orange, segemented
- 6 oz mixed greens
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
For The Orange Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey, optional
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
Make the Orange Vinaigrette
- Begin by whisking together the minced garlic, dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Gradually whisk in the orange juice and champagne vinegar until well combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Once all the ingredients are well combined, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Store the orange vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Give the vinaigrette a good shake or whisk before serving over your favorite salad greens or grilled vegetables.
Make the Salad
- Place the pickled beets into a strainer (one that is stain proof!) and let them drain to remove excess liquid. Once drained, chop the beets into slices or chunks, if needed. Our beets were already chopped pretty small so there was no need to for additional prep.
- Spread a bed of mixed greens onto a salad bowl, large serving platter or plate.
- Pour the orange vinaigrette dressing over the greens, and toss the greens to coat with the salad dressing.
- Arrange the chopped beets and blood orange segments over the greens.
- Crumble feta cheese over the top of the salad.
- Finally, sprinkle the walnuts over the top of the salad. Serve and enjoy!
I love this salad mainly for its vibrant colors and flavors. Such unique flavors and they all come together so beautifully. I will be adding some barley in mine to make it a meal.
This salad has so many different elements that combine together for the best citrus salad experience.
This is such a gorgeous salad with vibrant colors and flavors! Thank you for the thorough explanation of how to supreme an orange!
I just loved this salad! Blood oranges are one of my favorites, and they added such a fresh flavor that paired nicely with the feta. Definitely making this one again.
I love blood orange and it works so perfect with the beets. I could make a meal on this salad.
I love everything about this salad. The combination of flavor, the dressing – they blend perfectly in one bite!
This is a stunning salad! I loved the combination of beets and blood oranges and the vinaigrette is beautiful!
This salad sounds super fancy from it name! I love all of the colors in this salad – a great one for spring and summer!
This salad was such a delicious combination. The dressing turned out incredible. I definitely will be making again.
This salad sounds SO yummy! We’re always looking for new salads to add to our menu and my partner loves feta and vinaigrettes so I’m sure this’ll be a hit. Can’t wait to give it a try!
What an amazing salad- I made it vegan by eliminating the feta cheese and it tasted fantatstic.
Delicious salad, served with bacon wrapped scallops it made a really wonderful make i can’t wait to make again.
That is such an easy, delicious salad. The ingredients work so great together; it is really good! The blood orange is so bright and lovely. Would it work with other citrusy fruits? The salad tastes fantastic and looks great too! Thanks, I will make it again!
We’re obsessed with this salad! Will definitely be making again!