Thursday, May 2, 2013

Beautiful Baby Beet Salad

From the book Celebrate! by Sheila Lukins

I recently posted a recipe for a beet salad, and as I mentioned in that post we love beets in our household, hence another beet salad recipe so soon, yet very different from the last.

Normally I like to use a mixture of red and golden beets; however, on a beautiful sunny day at the farmer's market the golden beets stood out and screamed summer to me, where the red ones made me think of winter, so golden beets only this time around. And to be fair, I used only red beets in the last salad. 

To prep your beets for roasting, trim the greens to about an inch long. The directions have you trim the root end as well, which I have never done in the past. I would not bother with trimming the root, it leaves the firm end of the root exposed and it pokes through the foil; and you don't want beet juice dripping all over the bottom of your oven.

After roasting, let the beets cool enough to handle and then simply slip the skins off.

In addition to the beets being tossed in a vinaigrette, this salad is served with an orange-mint dressing to serve on the side for dolloping on top.

Whenever a recipe calls for mayonnaise, I always use half mayo and half non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Fage brand is my favorite.

The dressing is made up of mayo, mint, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper. At first bite I liked the dressing with the beets, but the orange zest had a bitter aftertaste that I did not care for. My husband said he too preferred the beets without the dressing - it was too overpowering - you could not taste the beets themselves.

If not for the bitterness of the zest, this would have made a great appetizer.

Success meter (1-3): 2

Beautiful Baby Beet Salad
Serves 4

2 pounds yellow or red baby beets,
   with 1 inch green and ½ inch root left on
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I added an extra splash!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup small fresh mint leaves, for garnish (I used only a few leaves)
Orange-Mint Mayonnaise (recipe follows), for serving

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2.     Scrub the beets well and then wrap them, 3 or 4 together, in little packets of aluminum foil. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake until the beets are tender when tested with a toothpick, about 1 hour. Open the packets (carefully – there will be hot steam) and let the beets cool slightly.
3.     Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue whisking until thickened. Set aside.
4.     When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins (use rubber gloves to protect your hands from staining). Halve the beets lengthwise (quarter any ones that seem a little too big) and place them in a bowl. Toss them with the dressing.
5.     Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a decorative bowl. Sprinkle with the mint leaves. Serve with the Orange-Mint Mayonnaise alongside for dolloping.

Orange-Mint Mayonnaise
Makes 1 cup

1 cup prepared mayonnaise (I use half mayo and half non-fat Greek yogurt.)
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 3 hours for the flavors to develop. This will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator; however, the flavor is best if the mint is fresh.

Celebrate!/Sheila Lukins


  1. Very pretty beets with lovely color!

  2. This looks like such a wonderful salad! Such a vibrant color!

  3. Your salad looks wonderful! I can well imagine how great the golden beets taste with orange and mint.

    I tried (oven-baked) golden beets for the first time only a few months ago and just loved them for the slightly sweeter taste in comparison with the red ones.


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