Baby beetroot in a herbed dressing

Baby beetroot in a herbed dressing

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

You’ll find cooked vegetable salads all around the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, usually served at room temperature.

Beetroot are especially well suited to being served in this way. Dress them in the sharp, herby dressing while they’re warm from the oven for maximum flavour. They are equally good as part of a mezze selection or as a vegetable accompaniment to roasts, barbecues or grills.


Quantity Ingredient
2 bunches baby red beetroot
4 garlic cloves, roughly smashed
sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
100g feta, roughly crumbled

Herby dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove, crushed with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 lemon, juiced
30ml olive oil
30ml walnut oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
baby soft herb leaves, to garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Wash the beetroot thoroughly to remove any grit, paying special attention to the area close to the stalks. Trim the roots and cut off the stalks, leaving about 3 cm attached. Place in a baking tray and scatter in the garlic cloves. Season lightly with salt, then add the oil and toss thoroughly. Cover the tray loosely with foil and roast for 30–45 minutes, until the beetroot are tender.
  2. While the beetroot are cooking, whisk together the garlic paste, lemon juice and oils to make the dressing.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and discard the garlic. When the beetroot are just cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them in half lengthwise. Place in a large bowl with the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Add the herbs to the dressing, whisk, and pour onto the beetroot. Check the seasoning, then add the crumbled feta and toss gently. Garnish with baby herb leaves, if using. Serve warm or cold.
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