Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beetroot, Pear and Feta Salad with Orange Balsamic Reduction

 This is a gorgeous salad and a must try. Even my Dad who is a little conservative in his tastes (as he ages, else it was he who was the ultimate foodie when I was growing up!!) loved it and had second and third helpings. I initially made this for this dinner with friends and served it with a Lamb Chilli and Spaghetti Aglio - E Olio, but it is so simple that this can be a quick addition for an everyday meal with just pasta or even grilled chicken or fish.

The original idea comes from Feast on Cheap which has the beets roasted in her version while I pressure cooked them. Indian beets must be different because they just didn't cook in the oven after all that time. Pressure cooking was way simpler. Also, the orange balsamic reduction is from another recipe of hers but I liked it so much I incorporated it into this one. I omitted the onions/shallots in the original recipe because Indian onions are quite pungent. Be sure to mix the pears and the beets only when ready to serve because otherwise the pears will turn blood red - my pic was taken after 15 minutes and its already red.

The sweet flavours of the beet and the pear are interpersed with a sharp tartness from the balsamic vinaigrette and heightened by the salty feta - my favourite!. Such a beautiful combination of flavours!!

Beetroot, Pear and Feta Salad with Orange Balsamic Reduction

Beetroot - 3 medium
Pear - 1 ripe - firm variety
Feta Cheese crumbled - 1/2 cup (about 100 gm)
Walnuts - 1/2 cup (toasted and lightly rubbed to remove the peel)
Coriander leaves - 2-3 tbsp
Orange juice - 4 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 2tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Grated giner - 1/2 tsp
Grated garlic - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Freshly crushed black pepper - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

1.  Put the beets into a vessel or directly in a pressure cooker, with a little water and cook for one whistle (8-10 minutes)
2. Meanwhile,  heat the balsamic vinegar and orange juice together on a medium flame till it reduces to half (about 4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
3. Whisk in all the other ingredients of the dressing along with the orange juice reduction and keep aside to allow the flavours to meld.
4. Once the pressure cooker can be opened and the beets have cooled, peel them, cut the ends and then cut into 1" cubes or thinner (I did thinner slices). Place in the salad bowl you will be serving them in.
5.Cut the pears into very thin slices. Crumble the feta cheese.
6. Add the toasted walnuts, feta cheese, and pears to the beets and toss with the dressing till well mixed. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve immediately.
7. To make ahead and serve later, toss the beets in 1/2 the dressing and refrigerate covered. In another bowl. In another bowl, add the feta, pears and walnuts and rerigerate covered. Just before serving, add the pears, walnuts and feta to the beet bow, toss with the remaining dressing and garnish with chopped coriander.


Arch said...

This looks gorgeous...Teh orange balsamic reduction sounds so good, must try get feta cheese !

Priya said...

Can have this fabulous looking salad anytime,looks terrific..

Miri said...

Arch - we get locally made feta cheese as well - made in the hills by some NGOs supporting dairy farming who teach the farmers to make cheese. Let me know if someone is coming over and I can send it

Spandana said...

Looks so delicious and colorful!! And so healthy too!!

Sayantani said...

I was about to ask the same question but then saw your reply to Arch. I drove 12 kms just because someone told that particular shop sells feta but when I went there they said they only brought it once...yet to find some other space.
the salad looks great. though am not very fond of beets but can eat that when combined with feta.

indosungod said...

Miri, it does look gorgeous.
I am glad it is cooked beets and not raw.

Miri said...

Sayantani, some readers had left comments on Bong Moms Cookbook's post some time back. They said you could get cheese in - Babar Ali in New Market, La Protina in Deb market, Spencer's South City, The Street The Park, Affra , City Centre. Hope this helps.

Sayantani said...

Thanks for this but Babar ali is the place I talked about in my last comment.
checked with spencer's south city and they said they never had feta cheese.

Affra is a restaurant which we frequent, never knew they sell cheese. will check with them.

never heard of la protina but the name sounds promising. let me check where this place is.

thanks for this help as i have been looking for this for a long time now. will also update my baking supply in Kolkata post if i get to find it here.

Miri said...

@ Sayantani - you could try The Gourmet Company - - the deliver all over India and have imported cheese, pasta, sauces, olive oil, teas etc. The prices of the sauces and pasta etc which I saw are the same for those brands in the supermarket here.

Cham said...

I love beets salad, this one is delicious with fruit and cheese!

Vaishali said...

This salad sounds like a winner-- and it looks gorgeous. Beets are a huge favorite at our place. I guess I could sub some vegan cheese for the feta. Yum.

nina said...

how amazing this looks! this is one of my face salad combos...must try it with this dressing yum!

Sarah said...

Looks very colorful and healthy Miri. I've beets and pears in my pantry, need to buy only the feta cheese to try this out :)