As a child I hated Feta cheese. I associated the taste with sweaty old onions, horrid dried up olives and some bitter lettuce leaves that we so commonly are presented with as some sort of attempt at a ‘Greek Salad’. I’m glad I gave it another chance because I love it now but I will never love those salads.
If you ever visit Greece you will find feta in everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It goes great in most salads but I really like this combination.
Feta – 200g
Dried herbs such as as Oregano and Thyme – 2 Tablespoons
Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
Beetroot – 2 whole and unpeeled ( or you can use ready cooked ones)
Rocket – 2 handfuls
Avocado – 1 whole and ripe
Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds – 2 tablespoons
Walnuts – A handful
Balsamic Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Dijon mustard – 1/2 Teaspoon
Honey 1/4 Teaspoon
If you are cooking the beetroots, preheat the oven to 180°c. Take two squares of tin foil and place the beetroots onto each of these like a parcel. Season them and add a touch of olive oil and few tablespoons of water and seal each parcel. This will allow them to steam in the oven. They will take 1 1/2 -2 hours depending on the size. You want them to be tender to a knife. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool. The skin should push off very easily once you can handle them. You can then slice them into wedges.
Whilst the beetroot is cooking you can marinate the feta. Chop into into cubes and drizzle some olive oil an the lemon juice over the top, sprinkling the dried herbs and some pepper and tossing them about. Leave this in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
To make the dressing simply mix the balsamic, honey and dijon together and slowly whisk a few tablespoons of olive oil into this until it becomes emulsified. I like mine very acidic so just taste it after a few tablespoons to see how you like it. Season it with salt and pepper and whisk well before you use it.
In a small saucepan you can toast the walnuts and seeds for a few minutes, this will really enhance the flavour but be careful not to burn them. No need to use any oil, a dry pan is fine.
Once you are ready to assemble the salad, chop your avocado and take all the elements. Dress the rocket leaves and place it onto the plate with everything else, drizzling some dressing around the salad.