I adore this salad so much, I am huge beetroot fan and the flavour combinations used here are a match made in heaven. I defy even the most beet hating, not love this.
It can be served on individual plates for a smart starter, you can use hazelnuts instead of walnuts, and if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some blood oranges, use them. But regular oranges taste just as good.
I think fresh dill is essential to lift this dish and works so beautifully with both the beetroot and orange.
As for the cream cheese, feel free to make your own versions using cashew or almonds but I have found a wonderful brand that make great almond cream cheese and yogurts Nush Foods. They are also British! I have attached a link so you can check them out. But any dairy free shop brought plant based version will work, just use your favourite.
It’s not a labour intensive salad and all elements can be ahead and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
4 medium beetroot
1 cup toasted walnuts
Fresh dill to serve
Creamy Dill Cheese
150g Almond cream cheese or other vegan cream cheese
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
1 heaped tablespoon of Wholegrain Mustard I like Grey Poupon
¼ cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Juice from 1 lemon
Reserved juice from orange peeling
Salt and pepper
Pre heat the oven to 180°C
Trim the stems from the beetroot and rinse under cold water, wrap them and seal them in foil and place in the pre heated oven for between 45-60minutes. Beetroot vary in size if they are small they may only need 30minutes and if very large they will need an hour.
Test them to make sure they are just tender and a knife glides in. Its ok if they are a little under done as you will be slicing thinly.
While the beetroot is cooking, whip all the creamy dill cheese ingredients together in a bowl, check for seasoning and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Again check for seasoning and set aside.
Peel the oranges and slice fairly thinly. If any flesh remains in the skin squeeze this into the dressing and place the sliced oranges into a bowl until ready to serve.
If you haven’t already toasted the walnuts add them to a line baking tray and place in the oven for 5 mins. Remove allow to cool and roughly chop.
When the beetroot is done remove from the oven and allow to cool until you’re able to handle it. I use rubber gloves or thin latex gloves for this bit so I don’t stain my fingers but it’s not essential. Rub the skins off the beetroot, they should come away easily.
Using a mandolin if you have one slice thinly, or using a sharp knife slice as thinly as you can, don’t worry too much.
When you’re ready to serve arrange the beetroot and orange slices on a serving plate, overlapping if needs be.
Top with dollops of creamy dill cheese, sprinkle with toasted walnuts and prongs of fresh dill. Lastly drizzle with a little of the dressing, reserving some for people to add later if they wish or if you’re lucky you can use some on salad.
I like to serve this with crusty bread and sometimes a fresh peppery green salad.