Salt-baked beetroot with feta & pickled onions

Salt-baked beetroot with feta & pickled onions

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Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins plus 1 1/2 hrs chilling

More effort

serves 4 as a starter or side

The salt crust really intensifies the natural flavour of the beetroot as it steams in its own juices, seasoning it as it cooks

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal277
  • fat19g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre4g
  • protein8g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 4 medium beetroot (different types are fine), washed, the leaves trimmed for the salad



    A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root…

For the salt crust

  • 6 rosemary sprigs



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 150g salt
  • 500g plain flour
  • 2 large egg whites

For the pickled onions

  • 140ml cider vinegar
  • 65g demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dill sprig
  • 2 onions, sliced into 5mm rings, tossed in a bowl with a pinch of salt to break them down



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

For the dressing

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

To serve

  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 30g toasted hazelnuts, chopped



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

  • 120g feta



    A creamy soft white cheese with an ancient history - nomadic tribes who needed to preserve the…


  1. First, make the salt crust. Blitz the rosemary and salt in a food processor, then add the flour and egg whites with 200ml water. Blitz again to bring together. Tip the mixture onto a clean surface and knead for 5 mins to form a smooth ball, then wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. Roll the dough out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Put the beetroots in the middle and draw the edges up to form a bag. Bake on a tray for 2 1/2 hrs

  3. Meanwhile, make the pickling liquor for the onions. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and 1 tsp salt over a medium heat, and bring to the boil. Add the dill and leave to cool for 30 mins. Strain the mixture onto the onions, and leave for a further 1 hr, then drain. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients with some seasoning and set aside.

  4. Remove the beetroots from the oven and leave in the salt crust until cool enough to handle. Open the salt crust with your hands and discard. Peel the beetroot, cut into wedges and drizzle with a little rapeseed oil.

  5. Mix the beetroots, onions and beetroot leaves in a large mixing bowl, then add the dressing. Reserving a little of each for decoration, add the chives, apple and hazelnuts, toss well, then tip into a large serving bowl. Crumble the feta over the top with the reserved ingredients, then let everyone help themselves. Best served slightly warm.

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