Beetroot and Orange Relish

Bright, zesty, aromatically-spiced and gloriously purple, Beet and Orange Relish is perfect served with cold meats, pâté or goat's cheese.

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

There the proprietress and my dear friend Deirdre always served this delicious relish alongside her famous chicken pâté. (Trust me, it’s delicious!)

While Deirdre is enjoying a well-deserved retirement from her bistro duties, she was kind enough to share with me the recipe for Beetroot relish (originally given to her by her neighbour, Trish. I love how recipes travel the world!)

Beetroot and Orange Relish
Beetroot and Orange Relish


To make Beetroot and Orange Relish, you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • Fresh Beetroot: I always try to find fairly large beetroot as they’re easier to handle when peeling and grating while they are raw. Deep purple beets give the best colour here, but you can use other beet varieties with great success.
  • Oranges: Use organic, unsprayed oranges and give them a good wash in hot water before testing.
  • Sugar: I always use white sugar in my preserves for the best colour.
  • Vinegar: You can use white, malt, wine or apple vinegar for this relish.
  • Cumin: Ground cumin pairs beautifully with the earthiness of beets.
  • Cardamon: Just a hint of citrusy cardamom will emphasise the orange flavour in the relish.
  • Salt: Non-iodized sea salt is best for preserving as it will not affect the colour of the preserve.
Beetroot and Orange Relish
Beetroot and Orange Relish


Beet and Orange Relish is simple to make and smells AMAZING while it cooks!

  1. First, peel and grate your raw beetroot, then transfer it to a large saucepan with a heavy base. Zest the oranges into the pan, then chop up the orange flesh and add it. Discard the white pith and seeds.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the beetroot has softened. You want to still have a little liquid in the pan as it will set further as it cools.
  3. When the beetroot has cooked, ladle it into sterilised jars (use a jam funnel! Link in recipe card!), seal and allow to cool completely before labelling and storing in a cool, dark place.
Beetroot and Orange Relish

What to serve with Beetroot Relish

This is a very versatile condiment. It is 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 goat’s 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.

Beetroot and Orange Relish

PRO TIPS: Grating Beetroot

Grating beetroot can be messy, so wear an apron or dark clothes to avoid splatter and washing-up gloves to avoid staining your hands.

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

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 attached, it makes an excellent handle for grating.


Do I have to wear gloves when preparing the beetroot?

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

How long can I store Beetroot and Orange Relish?

This relish is not meant for serious long-term storage. It will last perfectly well unopened in the pantry for several months but will lose its 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 them in hot, soapy water and placing them on a tray in an oven heated to at least 100°C / 215°F / Gas 1 for 15 minutes. To sterilise the lids, place them in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave them for 5 minutes and then drain.

Beetroot and Orange Relish


Beetroot and Orange Relish

Beetroot and Orange Relish

Jay Wadams
Bright, zesty, aromatically-spiced and gloriously purple, Beet and Orange Relish is perfect served with cold meats, pâté or goat's cheese.
4.38 from 24 votes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 30 4-5 medium jars


  • 1.25 kg beetroot, (beets)
  • 2 large oranges
  • 300 g white sugar
  • 500 ml vinegar
  • 3 tsp cumin, ground or seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom, or seeds from 12 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • PREPARE BEETROOT: Peel and grate the beetroot, then transfer the grated beetroot to a deep-sided saucepan.
  • PREPARE ORANGES: 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.
  • COMBINE INGREDIENTS: 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.
  • SIMMER: 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.
  • STERILISE JARS: 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.

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Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Preserves
Cuisine | Cypriot
Ⓒ | Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 340


  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

4.38 from 24 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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