Beetroot and Spinach Salad with Feta and Walnuts is one salad l enjoy making for our Christmas day lunch. The beautiful earthy flavours of beetroot and spinach are combined with a to die for dressing of olive oil, vinegar, garlic and just a touch of honey.
Known as Pantzaria to the Greeks, every household probably has its own version. They can be as simple as my mum’s whereby she’d sliced cooked beetroot and then drizzle with olive oil, vinegar and heaps of garlic. Feta cheese and walnuts are not normally seen in a Pantzaria Salad, however they do add a nice element of creaminess and crunch.
My best time saving tip here is to buy either tinned or vacuum sealed baby beetroot. I much prefer vacuum sealed beetroot as l find tinned beetroot far too sweet. You can buy them from Woolworths supermarket in Sydney for $5 per pack ( I have heard from one of my readers that they are cheaper in other states).
For this post, l used fresh baby spinach as a base and placed the remainder of the ingredients on top. Alternatively, English spinach or silverbeet sauteed in a little olive oil and then tossed with the beetroot and dressing is equally delicious.
Beetroot and garlic are a classic flavour combination, so adding garlic to the dressing is an absolute must. For extra flavour, my mum would also scatter thin slices of garlic over the beetroot; l suggest some breath freshener might be in order if you follow suit.
Whether you keep it modest like my mum or decide to make it a little more fancy by adding feta and walnuts, this is a super healthy salad that requires just a handful of ingredients and is easy on the budget too.
PS The vibrant colours of the beets and spinach look spectacular on the Christmas table.
- 1 vacuum sealed packet or 1 x 250 g / 8 oz tin of baby beets, quartered (note 1)
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 100 g / 3.5 oz feta cheese (note 2)
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp honey
- salt to taste
- Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Shake or whisk until combined. Make sure the honey has dissolved. Have a taste to check the seasoning.
- Place the spinach leaves in a bowl. Scatter the quartered baby beets over the top.
- Use your fingers to crumble the feta over the salad. Add the walnuts.
- Drizzle over the dressing and enjoy!
- If you don’t want the hassle of baking or boiling beetroot, my top recommendation is to buy a vacuum sealed packet of baby beets. I buy them from Woolworths supermarket for $5 per packet. If you can’t source them, a 250 g / 8 oz tin of baby beets is sufficient for this salad.
- I have talked about what to look for in a good feta cheese in my Classic Greek Salad post. It does comes down to preference; l usually select Greek or Bulgarian feta.