Tangelo beetroot salad with labne

Julie Buiso’s tangelo beetroot salad with labne looks as good as it tastes, and is especially pretty if you are able to source the bright variegated and sunshine yellow beets. If not, the deep crimson traditional beets, sliced wafer thin, served with carefully segmented orange tangelos, snow-white dollops of labne and a drizzle of good quality grass-gold extra virgin olive oil will almost look too good to eat – almost!

Photography Aaron McLean 

Tangelo beetroot salad with labne


1 batch labne (labna) made with 4½c full-fat yoghurt

4 baby golden beetroot
4 baby Chioggia (striped) beetroot
1-2 tangelos
2T pumpkin seeds
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt
2-3 radish, thinly sliced
1-2T dukkah, or toasted ground cumin
½ cup edible flowers
1T Sherry vinegar or lemon juice
3T extra virgin olive oil


Make the labne first. Take 4½c full fat yoghurt (I recommend Fresh & Fruity Greek Yoghurt but you can use any kind as long as it is full fat!), mix with 1t sea salt and place in a sieve lined with two layers of paper towel or clean cheesecloth or muslin. Put the sieve over a bowl and place in the fridge for three days, removing and discarding the whey that gathers in the bowl. When ready to serve, shape the labne into small balls using two spoons or lightly oiled hands.

Peel beetroot and slice thinly using a mandoline (I recommend the Benriner – it is a gamechanger and doesn’t take up too much room in your drawer).

Carefully peel tangelos with a serrated knife, removing all the white pith. Slice in between the flesh and membrane, releasing the tangelo fillets.

Fry pumpkin seeds in a splash of oil heated in a small pan for a minute or two. Keep an eye on them as they darken quickly. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Cool.

Arrange beetroot slices, radish, tangelo segments and labne on plates. Sprinkle with dukkah or ground cumin. Scatter everything with edible flowers and pumpkin seeds. Season with a few pinches of sea salt, dot with vinegar or lemon juice and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.


Easy to peel, tangy-sweet, juicy and bursting with flavour, Seminole tangelos were introduced to New Zealand in the 1950s and 95% of the country’s crop is grown right here in Gisborne.

Tangelos are the inspired result of crossing a mandarin with a grapefruit and are an excellent source of vitamin C. At their best straight out of their skins, they also make fantastic juice and can be used in preserves, desserts and baking.

Our tangelos store well at room temperature out of direct sunlight for a week, but will last much longer in the fridge where their vitamin content is undiminished.

Available from September until December.


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