Salad of slow-roasted beetroot, blood orange and feta cheese

Blood oranges add much-needed colour to drab grey days and are one of the few truly seasonal fruits. Blink and you'll miss them. Before they vanish for another year, try this colourful salad. If you can't find blood - or as some supermarkets coyly term them, blush oranges - use ordinary ones. If you're in a hurry, pre-cooked beetroot (not in vinegar) works fine.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the salad
● 2 medium sized raw beetroot
● 35g pecan nuts
● 2 blood oranges
● 100g feta cheese, roughly crumbled
● 150g mixed green leaves - spinach, rocket and watercress work well

For the dressing
● ¼ tsp ground cumin
● ½ tsp ground cinnamon
● 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
● 1 tbsp maple syrup
● ½ tsp orange flower water
● 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

● Preheat your oven to 200˚C and wrap each beetroot in silver foil. Roast for 60–90 minutes until they are soft all the way through when pierced with a sharp knife. Leave to cool then peel and cut into eighths.
● While roasting the beetroot, toast the pecan nuts for 5 minutes. Leave to cool, then chop roughly.
● Using a serrated knife, cut the top and bottom edges from each orange. Then, taking care not to take too much flesh, cut away the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Over a bowl to save the juice, cut out each segment, slicing between the membranes, letting the pieces drop into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membrane on top.
● Pour the excess juice from the segmented oranges into a small bowl. Add the dressing ingredients and whisk. Season to taste.
● Pile salad leaves on each plate. Arrange the beetroot, orange segments and feta and scatter the nuts on top. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.

Last updated: 11:24am, March 9 2012