Beet and Orange Salad

This beet salad is a light and delicious combination of roasted beets, oranges, feta cheese and fresh mint leaves. The orange vineagrette is simple to make and a perfect dressing for this salad. It's nice to serve as a starter to any meal or a delightful side dish.

Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos...)
Advertisement - Continue Below

What is a Composed Salad?

There are two types of salad in the world – tossed salads and composed salads. A tossed salad is pretty self explanatory – all the ingredients are tossed together. A composed salad is built with more intention – each ingredient is placed on the plate with design in mind. This beet and orange salad is a really pretty composed salad that is delicious as a light lunch with some soft butter lettuce, or as a salad course for a dinner party. (Read more about salads in my Salads 101 article here.)

Beets, oranges, pistachios, feta cheese, mint, oil, vinegar and honey on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredient Substitutions

The ingredients for this beet and orange salad are very simple – along with the beets and oranges, you will also need some white balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey to make the vinaigrette and then some feta cheese, fresh mint and if you’re feeling nutty, some pistachios. The simplicity of the salad adds to its beauty. Aside from the beets and oranges, all these ingredients can be substituted if you don’t like or just don’t have one of them on hand. Instead of feta cheese, try using some goat cheese. Instead of fresh mint, you could shred and sprinkle fresh basil on top or even fresh parsley. The pistachios are optional, so you could leave them off altogether or think about hazelnuts instead.

Advertisement - Continue Below
Beets cooked in a square cake pan with an orange towel on the side.

How to Cook Beets

You will need to cook the beets for this salad, but you have options. You could roast the beets in the oven, or you could cook them in your Instant Pot® or other brand of pressure cooker, or you could even cook your beets in the microwave. I have full instructions on how to do each of these methods in this cooking school article here. It’s also possible to cook the beets up to two days ahead of time if you like. If you happen to have beets for dinner one night, using the leftovers up in this salad the next day is a perfect idea. Keeping the beets in perfect rounds and slicing them is key to the beauty of this composed salad, so keep that in mind before you chop them up the night before!

Advertisement - Continue Below
Oranges sliced, beets sliced and a knife on a wooden cutting board.

How to Peel Oranges

Perfect round slices of peeled orange are also key to the salad’s beauty. Instead of peeling the oranges by hand, cut the peel away using a sharp knife, curving the knife around the orange from top to bottom. You can read about how to cut away the peel of all citrus fruits here. Cutting away the peel and the pith removes any chance of bitter taste in the orange and really does make the orange slices prettier. In a perfect world, your oranges and beets would be roughly the same size, but you don’t always have control over that so whatever you end up with will work.

Advertisement - Continue Below
Beet and orange salad on a white plate with a green napkin on the side.

How to Compose the Salad

Once you have all the components of the salad ready – the sliced cooked beets, the peeled and sliced oranges, the feta cheese, the shredded mint, the shelled pistachios and the vinaigrette – all you have left to do is to place them on the plate in a decorative manner. Shingle the beet and orange slices around the plate in concentric circles. Scatter the feta and pistachios on top and drizzle the vinaigrette over everything. I also like to sprinkle a little salt on at this stage to make sure everything is seasoned. Then add the mint and you’re ready to go to the table, pretty as a picture!

Advertisement - Continue Below
A spoon and fork serving beet and orange salad.

What to Serve Alongside

This beet and orange salad can go with almost anything as a side dish, but I would pair it with something pretty simple like a simple marinated chicken breast and rice, or a delicious salmon fillet. Or, you could serve this as one of several salads for lunch. It would be nice with a quinoa salad, a spring green salad and a potato salad, but understand that the other salads might be jealous because this beet and orange salad will walk away with the prize for beauty, hands down!

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
How to Cook Beets

If you claim to not like beets, it might just be because you've only ever had them out of a...View Technique

How to Supreme Citrus Fruit

When you add citrus fruit segments - whether they be grapefruit, orange, mandarin, lemon or lime - to salads, desserts...View Technique

Salads 101

There are three components in any salad - the dressing, the main ingredient and the other ingredients - but there...View Technique

Advertisement - Continue Below

Beet and Orange Salad with Feta Cheese & Mint 

  • Prep Time: 1 h
  • Total Time: 1 h
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized beets
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios optional
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Orange-Honey Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Remove the tops and the roots of the beets and thoroughly wash and scrub the beets. Rub the beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the beets in a baking dish with ½ cup of water and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (timing will depend on how the size of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven when you can easily pierce the beet to its core with a paring knife. and remove the foil. Let the beets sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to cool. When the beets have cooled enough to handle remove the skins. Wear gloves or use paper towels to rub the skins from the beets.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk the orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, honey, herbs and salt together in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Slice the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds. Cut the peels away from the oranges, making sure to remove all the white pith, and slice them into ¼-inch thick slices.
  5. Chiffonade the mint leaves by stacking the leaves and slicing into strips.
  6. To serve, Shingle the slices of beets and oranges on a serving platter or individual plates. Season the beets and oranges with a little salt and drizzle the orange-honey vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle the goat cheese, pistachios (if usinand mint and serve immediately.
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *