I love beets unabashedly, including the greens, which make a wonderful saute. This gorgeous beet salad is something I could eat everyday, for every meal.
I came up with this recipe after being inspired by a middle eastern style beet salad my friend Margo introduced me to. Margo's version was simpler, although just as delicious. She boiled and sliced the beets and then infused them with a simple lemon vinaigrette of lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
In my iteration, I take things up a notch, by adding some extra creaminess into the vinaigrette, and by mixing in some greens for freshness and some walnuts for crunch. On top of it all goes a sprinkle of parsley.
Hope you try it, and if you do, be sure to drop back and let me know!
What you'll love about this beet salad
- It's crunchy and fresh and the velvety sweetness of the beets with the tart creaminess of the vinaigrette is to die for.
- It's gorgeous!
- Beets are an amazing source of healthfulness, packed as they are with vitamins and minerals. They are an especially good veggie to have on hand any time of year and they store very well. If you don't already love them, you really should.
- The walnuts pack some heart-healthy protein to round out the salad.
- I like using golden and red beets in this salad, when I can, just because they look so good together. You can use one kind or the other, it doesn't really matter.
- I am not a great lover of very tart recipes, and I don't particularly love vinegar in my salads, so the lemon juice vinaigrette works perfectly for me. To make the vinaigrette creamy and round out the lemon, I plop in a couple of tablespoons of vegan mayo. You can leave it out and your salad will be just as delicious.
- You can make this salad ahead, by boiling the beets in advance and making your vinaigrette, then put it all together before serving.
- The beets do take some time on the stovetop to reach the desired tenderness. You can roast your beets for this recipe, but I don't think they get the perfect, sliceable texture you need for this recipe when they are roasted.
How to boil beets
- Scrub the beets clean, and remove any greens. I don't really trim the hard ends of the beets before boiling them to avoid the nutrients and color leeching out into the saucepan.
- Place the beets in a saucepan (you can boil whole beets of different colors together, it won't affect their individual colors), add enough water to cover them by an inch, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife inserted in the thickest part of the beet goes cleanly through. Smaller beets will, obviously, require less time, bigger beets will need more.
- Once the beets are boiled and are cool enough to handle, you can peel them easily--the skin just flakes off. But you can eat the skin if you wish. Slice for the salad.
How to make the beet salad vinaigrette
This really couldn't be easier. Place the juice of one large lemon, three garlic cloves (use more or less depending on your sensitivity to raw garlic, although the flavor is nicely balanced by the other ingredients), a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of vegan mayo (optional) in a blender and blitz into a smooth, creamy dressing.
- You can use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon.
- Use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead of the walnuts if nut-free. You can also use cubes of air fryer tofu to make this a complete meal.
- Add some lightly toasted poppy seeds to the dressing for a little more crunch and texture. I'd stir them in after making the rest of the vinaigrette because you don't want them to get blitzed in the blender.
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Beet Salad with Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
- 6 medium beets (any color)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoon vegan mayo (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 cups salad greens
- ½ cup walnuts (lightly toasted, leave whole or chop)
- 2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- Scrub the beets, then place them in a saucepan, cover the tops with an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pan, and cook 45 minutes to an hour until tender and a knife inserted in the thickest part of the beet goes cleanly in. Peel when cool enough to handle and cut in thin slices.
- Place the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mayo, if using, salt and ground black pepper in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Place the greens on a dish and top with the sliced beets. Strew on the walnuts and pour on some of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle on chopped parsley before serving.
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