Roasted beets bring such an earthy goodness to this Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Pecans & Feta Cheese. It’s a great combination of sweet and savory elements that come together in an amazing salad.
I know it’s August and summer is winding down but I’m not ready, I’m never ready. While I may have included a cocktail this past weekend that is apple centric, that’s not my standard MO at all; nope, I’m usually the one crying in the corner like a mom leaving her child at kindergarten, ‘ But I’m NOT ready!’
I worked hard this summer and it seems I just finished a bunch of projects. Don’t be telling me summer is over; I’m just now starting to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of my labors.
My first job this past spring was to stain my deck and truth be told I’m not finished yet. It got too hot so I quit after doing the surface and I had to remind myself the other day that I still need to get out there and finish the rails and the steps; I’m so over the whole thing right now but I’ll get it done.
I removed dirt from a dozen huge pots for a new raised bed and kept only three of them that I freshened up with some paint and filled with flowers for my deck; the rest I gave away to neighbors and friends. Now they can maintain them and I can still enjoy them…win-win!!
I spent a fair amount of time on a back garden that surrounds a pear tree putting more flowers into the ground so that my days of standing and watering pots for hours are gone. I love lots of flowers and I actually love to water sometimes. It’s that ‘sometimes’ part that had become problematic. Every day for 90 minutes? No thanks, not so much!
Still some work to finish edging it and adding a couple more varieties of perennials but it’s a really welcome site from the house and the deck in lieu of rock. I love long blooming perennials and this is where a lot of them go. Stella D’Oro Daylilies, Wild Geranium, and Red Valerian (Jupiter’s Beard) did the trick; now I can throw in something more stellar and with a shorter season and I’m thinking I need a nice Oriental Poppy.
One big chore was putting together a kit for a raised herb garden. Although the kit was so messed up I do think it fair to say I built a unit for my herbs. There was drilling and screwing and Super Gluing and it took two days…why yes, I DID built it! I love having it at the bottom of my deck stairs providing me with 16 square feet of herbs; chives, thyme, parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil and dill. There are some leeks and a fennel bulb too; just for grins…I don’t even know when to take them out!
Last but not least I put in a new garden area too. I had a big area in back that I had put bark mulch into for some Adirondack chairs to inhabit but after I thought I was done for the year I decided to use that space instead for tomatoes and some perennial herbs and maybe a squash plant down the road.
Because it was too late to do much; I simply put in the tomatoes along with one plant each of sage, lavender and thyme. I’m going to use it for my perennial herbs and use the elevated unit for more tender plants that I’ll have to replace each year. It was a fair amount of space without anything in it so I planted it with zinnias I started from seed. I just love those flowers and have always wanted a cutting garden; they are easy to grow and work their magic in a simple vase in my kitchen.
Still too much rock in this area; anybody need some? Anybody? Bueller?
So to get back on task…how does all this lead up to a Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Pecans & Feta Cheese? I know you’re all dying to know, right?
Well, a girl has to eat and with all the labor intensive work, at the end of many days, the last thing I felt like doing was making dinner for myself. I don’t have a problem with the occasional fast food meal except that where I live it’s not fast. If I have to drive into town, the 40 minute round trip pretty negates fast so I was looking for quicker and more nutritious meals. Enter Sprouts Market!
Sprouts has a nice selection of meals prepared and ready to go. At the end of the day, especially when I’m beat, I’m more inclined towards a salad than meatloaf so I tried stocking my fridge with a variety of their salads, pastas, and wraps and fell in love with this Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Pecans & Feta Cheese. I candied the pecans like they had but it would work just as well with toasted pecans too if you’re so inclined. Adding the tang of red onions and salty feta made it pretty much perfect.
Their salad did not include an orange but I had one and so mine did (see how elaborate my recipe development process is?). Since I had no idea what the ingredients were for their salad dressing, I decided to continue with the orange flavor profile and the Orange Poppy Seed Dressing was such a hit I’ve been keeping a jar in the fridge at all times.
I eat a lot of fruit on my salads instead of veggies, so it’s a good one for any salad with strawberries, peaches, raspberries, whatever; honestly any fruit. Make this one; I just know you’ll love it too!
PIN ‘Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Pecans & Feta Cheese’
For the Roasted Beets
- 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and trimmed of stem and root
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- Pinch of salt and pepper
To Finish the Salad
- 1/2 to 1 head Red Leaf Lettuce, torn
- 2-3 Roasted Beets, cooked and chopped
- 1 large orange, Supremed to remove all of the pith. (see notes)
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted or candied (see Notes for link to Candied Pecans)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
To Prepare the Beets
- Spread olive oil over clean, dry beets, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until beets are easily pierced with a fork. Cool and then chop into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks.
To Make the Dressing
- Combine all dressing ingredients except poppy seeds in a jar or blender. Cover and either blend until smooth or shake well. Add poppy seeds and stir well.
To Make the Salad
- Place leaves of red lettuce on a salad plate. Top with roasted beets, orange sections, chopped red onion, candied pecans and feta cheese. Drizzle with orange poppy seed dressing and serve.
Supreming an orange removes the peel and pith and any membrane. Truth? I'll sometimes just cut off the peel and pith and then slice the rest! Whatever you decide to do; here's a video to show you how easy it is!