Beetroot and Orange Relish


Bright, zesty, aromatically spiced and gloriously purple, Beetroot and Orange Relish will always remind me of long afternoons spent in the very aptly named Gardens of Irini – or Gardens of Peace in Bellapais, Cyprus.

There the proprietress and my dear friend Deirdre always served this delicious relish alongside her famous chicken pâté. While Deirdre is enjoying a very well deserved retirement from her bistro duties, she was kind enough to share with me the recipe for both her relish and her pâté alongside other favourites.

I won’t get to sit in the beautiful Gardens of Irini until I’m next able to head out to Cyprus, as the current travel restrictions make it very difficult to get there. In the meantime, I have to content myself with creating some of the tastes of the island at home.

Grating beetroot can be messy, so wear an apron or some dark clothes to avoid splatter and wear washing up gloves when grating the beetroot to avoid staining your hands. I always grate the beetroot by hand but feel free to use the grating attachment on your food processor if you prefer. If you leave a little of the stem of the beetroot attached it makes an excellent handle for grating.

This is a very versatile condiment, very much at home with cold meats, terrines or pate, and fabulous with gamey meat like duck or goose. As always with beetroot, this relish pairs beautifully with goats cheese, so it’s ideal for adding to a cheeseboard. This relish will keep in a cool, dark place for up to a year, though if you want it to stay brilliantly purple, keep it in the fridge or freezer.

Have you ever been to Cyprus? Let me know in the comments below! xJ

Beetroot and Orange Relish

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Beetroot and Orange Relish

Beetroot and Orange Relish

Yield: 4-5 medium jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Bright, zesty, aromatically-spiced and gloriously purple, this relish will always remind me of long afternoons spent in the Gardens of Irini Bellapais, Cyprus where my friend Deirdre always served this delicious relish alongside her famous chicken pâté.


  • 1.2 kg beetroot
  • 2 large oranges
  • 300 g sugar
  • 500 ml vinegar
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • or: seeds from 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel and grate the beetroot, then transfer the grated beetroot to a deep-sided saucepan.
  2. Zest the oranges into the pan, then peel, slice the flesh into small chunks and add to the pan with any juices. Discard the peel.
  3. Add the sugar, vinegar, cumin, cardamom, salt and a few grinds of pepper to the pan, then bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Turn the heat down so the relish is gently simmering, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon until the beetroot is soft and the liquid has nearly evaporated. This will take 45 minutes to an hour. You want to have a little liquid still at the bottom to keep the relish moist, so if you find the relish is drying out before the beetroot has softened, add a splash of water to the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars in an oven heated to 120°C. When the relish has cooked, spoon it into the sterilised jars, ensuring you pour over any juices left in the pan too. Seal while still hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 50 Serving Size: 1 Tbsp
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 40Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g


Do I have to wear gloves when preparing the beetroot?

I prefer to wear gloves when I am making this relish to stop my hands being stained pink. If I don’t have any washing up gloves then after I’ve grated the beetroot I simply wash my hands well with cold soapy water, then use a handful of coffee grounds to give them a bit of a scrub.

How long can I store Beetroot and Orange Relish?

This is not a relish that is meant for serious long term storage. It will last perfectly well unopened in the pantry for several months but will lose the vibrant colour over time. I usually have a jar on the go in the fridge, and keep the rest in the freezer until I need them.

How can I sterilise my jars?

I sterilise my jars by washing in hot, soapy water, then placing on a tray in an oven heated to at least 100°C / 215°F / Gas 1 for 15 minutes. To sterilise the lids, place in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes and then drain.

Beetroot and Orange Relish

If you have a wooden chopping board, wrap it in baking paper before you cut or grate the beetroot to prevent staining.

Beetroot and Orange Relish
Beetroot and Orange Relish



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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food, architectural and landscape photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.
Articles: 213


  1. I was given a jar of this relish and I have just loved having it with Brie on crackers, with my evening drink. It is just delist!

    • Hi Annette! Thank you for your lovely words! I am absolutely thrilled you enjoyed the relish, it sounds absolutely perfect with Brie, crackers and something chilled! Cheers! xJ

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