Orange Thyme Salad with Glazed Beets and Spiced Walnuts

by Susan on April 17, 2013

Orange Thyme Salad with Glazed Beets

Orange Thyme Salad with Glazed Beets

Orange Thyme Walnut Beet Salad

I am not going to lie, this salad has a lot going on. But in a well paired, delicious way. Orange spiced walnuts, balsamic glazed beets, a wonderful orange- thyme-walnut dressing…it’s tough not to love all these flavors. The best part is they love each other!

I am a big proponent of keeping things simple. When I see a recipe that has fifteen plus ingredients, first, I pass out. I mean, who wants to spend that amount of time making something? Then, I feel bad because I can guarantee that the beauty of the main ingredients has probably been lost when so many competing flavors are coming at you.

I like simple. I am going to confuse you and tell you I also like complex. But complex in a way that emphasizes the freshness and taste of the main ingredients. In this recipe, I started with four things that I know go well together. Oranges, beets, walnuts and thyme. They are the main ingredients, the stars you might say. If you want to keep it “simple” but highlight those ingredients, you layer flavor.

I first learned the true beauty of flavor layering from Chef Eric Harcey, an extremely talented chef I had the pleasure to photograph for Sotheby’s “Artful Living”. He also consented to let me shoot and highlight him in my other blog, Shooting The Kitchen. Eric served a beet salad that used beets in at least 3 different ways, fresh, pureed and dehydrated. The flavor was amazing and highlighted the beets in a way I had never tasted before. That is layering. You can see the salad I am talking about here.

In this salad, the walnuts are sweetened and spiced with honey, maple syrup, himalayan salt, pepper and orange zest. I dare you to not eat them all before they go into the salad. The dressing is made from oranges, walnuts, and thyme. The balsamic glazed beets provide a nice accent while the orange segments reinforce the orange that is in the spiced walnuts, and dressing. See how that works?

This salad comes together quite quickly. You just need to plan a little ahead for the walnuts and beets. I did them in the dehydrator but if you are really careful, you can do them in the oven. Just know they won’t be raw.

Equipment needed:

Advanced Preparation:

  • Dehydrate beets
  • Dehydrate walnuts

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Rose Roesch April 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm

This looks WONDERFUL! I need to make this salad!


Therawfoodsisters April 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

Wow looks and sounds Amazing! We also prefer to keep it simple but once in a while it is fun to create something more “advanced”. Thanks for sharing this one!


Aimee April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

This sounds absolutely delicious! I love beets!


Susan April 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Thanks, Aimee! I am a beet lover, too!


paws April 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I notice that the dehydrator is listed as “optional.” Can I make this recipe and skip the dehydrating part?


Susan April 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Yes, as stated in the post, you can carefully use the oven but know that the ingredients you put in the oven won’t be raw.


paws April 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Never mind! I missed what you wrote about dehydrating in the oven. :)


Donna Marlor April 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

What is the calories, protein, fat, sat fat, mono fat and carb for this recipe per serving? It looks like a lot of added sugar and walnuts are high in fat.


Susan April 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I don’t provide that information. I am more interested in high nutrients. If you need that info, there are many calorie analyzers that you can plug the ingredients into and get a report.


Jan April 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I’m making this today for a friend & myself – just wondering about the hardness of the beets after dehydrating ? I’m new to this raw life and never done beets before, except to steam/boil the heck out of them


Susan April 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm

If you notice, you are only dehydrating for 2-3 hours, mostly to set the glaze. You want to be careful not to over-dehydrate or they will get hard. The texture is crisp, like fresh beets.


Heidi April 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Susan, thank you so much for all the work you do and sharing these amazing recipes. This salad looks awesome. I will try it this weekend. I would like to purchase a new dehydrator. any suggestions? I dehydrate fruit in the summer in fairly large quantity.


Susan April 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Yes…I like the TSM. You can order them from the site, if you wish.


Amy Jo - Pure & Simple April 22, 2013 at 8:37 am

Absolutely gorgeous photos!


Ginny April 24, 2013 at 12:28 am

Your salad was awesome! I’ve been dreaming about it since you posted it and had the day off today so I made it! It was as good as it looked. Even my meat ‘n potatoes hubby loved it. I used both red and yellow beets. Delicious! The only thing I did differently than your recipe is that I didn’t dehydrate the beets after marinating. They were so good the way they were that I didn’t think they needed it. But I have some left over and will put them on the dehydrator to see what I missed. The spiced walnuts were wonderful! The orange zest made them perfect. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are amazing!


Carrie April 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Quickie regarding the walnuts…do you soak them and add the spice mixture while they are still ‘wet’ before dehydrating? Or do you soak and dry them, then add the spices and redry? Thanks!


Susan April 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

As stated in the recipe, the nuts are used DRY. If you want to soak and dehydrate them PRIOR (to making the recipe) to diminish the enzyme inhibitors, you can.


mimi April 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

hellos Susan!

cooking your salad now…nuts in dehydrator, beats are marinating…
next. shallots. i don’t have any…
can i use onions instead of shallots?

thank you!


Susan April 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Onions, even sweet onions have a much stronger and different flavor than shallots. Shallots are sweeter and more mild. You might be playing with fire with that one.


mimi April 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

thank you, Susan, for a quick reply! very helpful! i’ll get shallots tomorrow (beats are marinating over night anyway)

btw, LOVE LOVE LOVE your orange-almond chia seed pudding – made it 100+ times!!! )))) soaking almonds for another one tomorrow:)

your recipes are brilliant! my friend got me your books for my bday :) LOVE them!

thank you very much again, Susan!


mimi April 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

also, just in case – is there any substitute for the shallots? or what if i don’t use them – will it change the recipe?


Mara April 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I haven’t made this (yet)–no beets in the fridge at the moment–but your comments on flavor layering have been very helpful in my recent salad creation adventures.


mimi April 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Susan, we LOVE this salad! probably the best salad recipe…going to make more!


alyx b April 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I have an ancient dehydrator and according to the company, the temperature is 150. . . I realize this isn’t raw, but until I get a new one this is what I’ve got to work with. Since I’ve never dehydrated beets, I don’t know what “over-dehydrate” would look like, do you have a way to calculate how long I should dehydrate them at the higher temp? Sorry if this is confusing. . . .Thanks!


Susan April 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I would just check them every 15 minutes. You don’t want them to get hard.


Lisa May 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I made this salad today and it was awesome!!!! I made the walnuts a couple days ago the dressing last night and the beets this morning. Seemed easy to put together by breaking it up this way. It was the perfect thing for lunch on the patio on this very nice sunny 79 degree day!


Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today May 2, 2013 at 8:28 am

This salad looks truly beautiful. I like each ingredient. Can’t wait to make it.


Susan May 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thank you, Marta!


Penelope vegan May 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

Awww… I thought the site was eco-friendly and vegan… Take care.


Susan May 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

I occasionally use raw honey from bee keepers that I know personally. I believe that supporting them helps support our bee population. You certainly don’t need to use it.


Bettena May 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

The beets r amazing! I am going to have to have these on hand just because….the nuts too! Delish salad, with a great mix of flavors. Retained the marinade from the beets and made a dressing from that. Waste not, what not!


Carol May 13, 2013 at 4:27 am

Hi … I made this salad tonight and it was amazing … will be having it again soon … such a taste sensation! Sometimes I’m so happy that I’m the only person in the house that eats raw (other than my 15 month old having green smoothies) … all the more for me!!


Emma July 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

Hi Susan

Thanks for your wonderful recipe, I can’t wait to make it!

Just wondering what you recommend I do if I don’t have a dehydrating sheets/dehydrator etc… (i.e and plan on cooking the beets in the oven). Shoudl I still marinade them as you suggest? Will they bake well? And for how long should I bake them?

Kind regards


Susan July 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

Yes, you still should marinate them but you will have to experiment with cooking times. I focus on the raw side. :-)


Emma July 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

Also, I’m allergic to all nuts. Do you recommend a flavour to put into the marinade that would replace the walnut flavour?


Teresa dos Santos August 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

What a great recipe! The salad looks delicious! I tried to make it, but it certainly didn’t look like the one in the picture, it tasted good though


Marie September 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

I love beets and oranges together, the addition of the walnuts takes this salad over the top!


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