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Roasted Beet(root) Salad with Pecans

A colorful and flavorful salad or side dish, perfect for special holiday meals.

gluten free beet salad recipe with feta cheese thanksgiving side dishFrom Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonaghadapted from a recipe by Marjorie Marino, Bulacan, Philippines

We spent 2 weeks in South Africa and have given talks on South Africa as well as a gluten-free South African buffet. I was given this vegan recipe, which I adjusted it to make it my own. It uses maple syrup since vegans won’t use honey, but I use honey since I really don’t know if maple syrup is available in South Africa. I also used feta cheese instead of tofu. We saw huge platters of feta cheese and chunks of ripe tomatoes and cucumber everywhere as there are very large Greek communities.


Makes 4 servings


  • 9 small to medium red and yellow beets
  • 2 Tablespoon (30 ml) butter
  • 1 cup (4 oz) chopped pecans, toasted in oven for about 10 minutes
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) honey (or maple syrup to make it vegan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Feta Cheese to taste (or no cheese to make the recipe dairy-free and vegan)


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) gf Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon (45 ml) chopped chives or green onions (spring onions, scallions). A South African friend suggested cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Toast chopped pecans for about 7 minutes.
  3. Wash and dry the beetroots and place in an oven-proof casserole dish. Bake covered from 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife.
  4. Allow to cool, then cut off each end and peel.
  5. Heat a skillet/frying pan over medium heat and then add the nuts and let them heat. Add the maple syrup or honey, let sizzle until mixture almost turns to chewy toffee. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  7. To assemble the salad, slice the beets and arrange them on 4 plates. Sprinkle with the nuts and crumble the tofu over the beets.
  8. Whisk the dressing once more, then drizzle some over each plate and serve immediately.

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