Beet salad has always been one of my childhood favorites. It’s sweet, vibrant in color and simply delicious.
Some people are intimidated by beets and put off by what they call their earthy aroma. When prepared correctly, however, they can be amazingly delicious. This easy beet salad is a perfect example.
A word about beets
If you have never tried beets or tried but didn’t like them, you should give them another chance. Beets are super-nutritious, full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. In fact, they contain a bit of almost all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Their rich scarlet color reflects their wealth of nutrients. Their benefits range from blood pressure regulation to improved athletic performance, from digestive health to brain health, from anti-inflammatory to anti-cancer properties.
How to cook beets
In France, where I grew up, you can buy pre-cooked beets at the market. The farmers simply boil them in water and all you have to do is peel them. I do not know about other countries, but in the US you can only find them raw, or alternatively pickled in jars (which I personally cannot endorse, they just don’t taste right). Pickled beets is what you find in some restaurants salad bars for example. While they will bring you some nutritional value, their taste has nothing to do with home cooked beets.
Some people swear by boiling or steaming. My preferred method is roasting because it helps concentrate the sweetness. Here again, there are several methods for roasting. The method I recommend is detailed in this post.
Tips and substitutions
To avoid getting your hands stained while peeling and cutting the beet, use a latex glove or a paper towel to hold the beet.
Shallots make a great addition to this salad. If you don’t have any, red onion can be used. Garlic is also an option if that’s what you like.
As for herbs, parsley is an easy choice, but cilantro would work as well.
I like apple cider vinegar in this salad because its flavor pairs very well with the beet root. Any other vinegar you have on hand would be fine though. I do not recommend balsamic vinegar as it would alter the beautiful color of this salad (unless you use white balsamic vinegar).
I like a 1 to 1 ratio of vinegar to oil in this salad, it allows the acidity to balance the sweetness of the beet. You can adjust to your own taste.
Extra virgin olive oil is of course the preferred choice of the Mediterranean Diet. Avocado oil could be used as well. And if you have a good walnut or hazelnut oil, you can substitute a teaspoon or so of the olive oil with it. It will complement the earthiness of the beet.
If you like, you can sprinkle a few walnuts on your salad. It’s a delicious addition.
Try this simple beet salad now! It will keep for 3 to 4 days refrigerated and I guarantee it will become a staple at your house!
Other recipes to try:
Easy beet salad
- Peel cooked beet and cut it in 1/2" cubes. Place in a bowl.
- Chop shallot and parsley. Add to the bowl.
- Drizzle vinegar, olive oil, add salt and pepper.
- Toss well and serve.