Beetroot, apple and feta curd salad recipe

Early beets are combined with sweet and sharp apple, and the feta curd adds a subtle softness to this textural dish that's as pretty as a picture once plated.

General info

Serves: 4-6


For the salad:

  • 5 each of small golden, candy and red beetroot
  • 1 x 200g packet of feta, crumbled
  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 curly endive, or frisee
  • handful of pea shoots
  • 3 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 1 packet of edible viola flowers
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the hazelnut dressing:

  • 7 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 170ml fresh cloudy apple juice, boiled until reduced to 50ml, then cooled


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Cut off all but 2cm of the stalks from four of each type of beetroot and wash thoroughly. Wrap each in foil and place in a roasting tin. Cook for 30–40 minutes for small beetroots or 40–60 minutes for medium until tender. Cool a little before gently slipping off the skins, then cut into rough wedges
  2. Meanwhile, make the feta curd. Put the feta in a blender with the yogurt and a pinch of black pepper and pulse until smooth. Then whisk the dressing ingredients together, season and set aside
  3. Heat the oil to 180°C in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Peel and thinly slice the remaining three beetroot using a mandolin and set half aside. Deep-fry the remaining slices for 1–2 minutes until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Season and set aside
  4. Now preheat a large frying pan over a high heat. Peel the apple and cut into 8 wedges, removing the core. Toss in the sugar and place in the hot pan. The apple wedges will immediately caramelise. Cook until golden and slightly softened, then set aside
  5. To assemble, smear some feta curd over each plate (see photo for positioning), then scatter with a little curly endive and top with the apple wedges and roasted beets. Scatter artistically with pea shoots, hazelnuts and raw beetroot slices, paying attention to colour, and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with the beet chips and viola flowers.

Taken from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia

You could try adding cooked puy lentils, blanched fresh peas, seared slices of lamb or beef or diced roasted pumpkin to the salad, and scatter with roasted pumpkin seeds rather than hazelnuts

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