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Warm roast beetroot, watercress and smoked salmon salad

Diana Henry / 20 January 2016

Diana Henry's recipe for a warm winter salad of roast beetroot, watercress, potato and hot-smoked salmon is ideal for colder days.

Warm roast beetroot, watercress and smoked salmon salad
Diana Henry's warm roast beetroot, watercress and smoked salmon salad. Photograph by Laura Edwards, food styling by Joss Herd.

Cooking time

45 minutes




  • 175g raw beetroot (small globes)
  • 155g small waxy potatoes (no need to peel them)
  • 80g watercress
  • 150g hot-smoked trout or salmon
  • ¼ red onion, cut into very fine slices (they should wafer-thin)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 3/4 tsp curry paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs double cream
  • Salt and pepper


You don’t actually need to roast the beetroot here, you can buy ready cooked stuff, but home roasted beets do taste better – they have a sweeter, deeper flavour. It’s a good idea, since you are putting the oven on, to roast a batch of beetroot in one go (it keeps well in the fridge) or to cook something else at the same time.

Wash the beetroot, cut off the tail and trim the stalks too. 

Set the beetroot on some foil in a small roasting tin or gratin dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season. 

Pull the foil up round the beets to make a parcel (you shouldn’t wrap them tight). Cook in an oven preheated to 180 C for about 45 minutes. They are ready when the tip of a sharp knife slides into them easily.

Once they are cool enough to handle carefully peel them (it’s best to do this while holding the beetroot on a fork otherwise the juice really stains your hands). Cut each beetroot into quarters or sixths, depending on the size.

Cook the potatoes while the beets are cooking until they are just tender, either in the microwave or in boiling water. Drain.

Remove the skin from the salmon (or trout) and break the flesh into large pieces (or you can leave it in one whole piece if you prefer).

To make the dressing put the honey into a cup with the curry paste and a little salt and pepper. Using a fork, whisk in the lime juice, followed by the olive oil and cream. Make sure that you mix the dressing really well – it’s easy for the honey to sink to the bottom and not become properly incorporated.

Put the watercress, warm potatoes and beetroot on two plates, sprinkle on the onions and arrange the fish on top. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

See our salad recipes for more delicious ideas.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.