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My Favorite Beetroot Salad

Updated on April 28, 2012

Here is a summertime favourite.

When it is time for barbecues and picnics, foods that are easy to prepare and carry and that can help cool you down are the best for the summer days. This, of course, means sandwiches, finger foods and salads. If you are thinking you might like to try a break from the usual coleslaw, potato and bean salads, here is one of my favorites and a very tasty/healthy alternative.

I already love beetroot but was especially happy to discover that it is one of the key foods that has so many health benefits. These include cardiovascular and digestive support. It also helps to fight cancer.

Also, what I appreciate about beetroot is its versatility and how it goes with so many things. Even if it were not as healthy to eat as it is, I love that that it is so colorful. I also love the texture and that sweet, distinctive flavor it imparts. It is a great year-round accompaniment to main dishes but it is especially delicious in salads – either julienned fresh or cooked, chilled and sliced.

The salad ingredients:

3 large or 6 small beetroot bulbs (I prefer organic for the maximum health benefits), steamed, chilled and cut into cubes.
12-15 chopped fresh basil leaves
1-2 large crushed garlic cloves, depending on how strong you like your garlic flavor
1/8 teaspoon coarse grind sea salt (or to taste)
freshly ground mixed peppercorns to taste
2-3 extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon crushed fennel seed

I usually make the dressing ahead of time so that the crushed fennel seeds can soak and soften.

This salad requires that the beetroot be steamed a few hours in advance of the meal so it has a chance to chill.

Keep the skin on the beetroot when steaming, let cool and then put into the fridge for several hours,

After refrigeration, you then peel the beetroot, cut in into cubes and mix it with the other ingredients in a bowl. Some people prefer to wear gloves when peeling and cutting the beetroot as the juices will temporarily color your hands. The color will wash off of your hands but be careful to not spill any on clothing as it may permanently stain.

Some of the ways to enjoy this salad:

This salad is great as a starter and goes with so many things including pasta, fish and poultry dishes. We have even been known to have it for dessert!

It is great on its own with freshly baked French bread and butter and a chilled bottle of Chilean sauvignon blanc. As we are in the UK, we prefer to serve it with the granary baguette which is available freshly baked at Waitrose supermarket.

Serving Suggestion:

Try serving as an accompaniment to tarragon chicken breasts with roasted sweet potatoes and a sautéed mixture of chopped red onion, celery, red pepper and fresh fennel.

Enjoy!!!

 

You can use extra basil leaves to add a decorative touch.
You can use extra basil leaves to add a decorative touch.

Comments

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    • d.william profile image

      d.william 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      excellent article. I love beets. Will definately try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us. dw

    • M Selvey, MSc profile imageAUTHOR

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Tony, thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments! I hope you enjoy the salad. It is very scrumptious - of course, I am biased :-)

      Margit x

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      This one gets a thumbs up and is bookmarked! Can't wait to try it! Thanks so much. It looks scrumptious!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • M Selvey, MSc profile imageAUTHOR

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      habee, thank you for reading and for your comment! If you like the combination of garlic, olive oil, basil and balsamic vinegar, it does have a very nice flavor. Although, if you don't like the taste of beets, it will not mask the taste that much. Give it a try and see what happens! I do find that the fresh, steamed beets have a much better flavor than those which are canned/pickled.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I've never learned to like beets. Maybe this will help!

    • M Selvey, MSc profile imageAUTHOR

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Enjoy, girlnbooks! This salad is what started my beet addiction! At least it's a healthy one! Thank you for your comment!

    • profile image

      girlnbooks 

      8 years ago

      I MUST try this salad since my new found love for beets!! Thanks!!

    • M Selvey, MSc profile imageAUTHOR

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for your comment, billyaustindillon. Beetroot and sweet potato go together very well. It is not surprising that they would be in a salad. I'll have to try adding sweet potato to mine - nice variation!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      8 years ago

      Sounds great - just had a beet root salad last night actually - very similar but had sweet potato i it also - was delightful.

    • M Selvey, MSc profile imageAUTHOR

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for reading and your kind comment, BkCreative. Also, thank you for your hub on the benefits of olive oil which was part of the inspiration for me write this into a hub!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Oooh sounds excellent. This - I will try. Thanks so much for all the information!

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