Beets are one of those love ’em or hate ’em vegetables that you can find all year round, but which are at their peak from June to October. Their sweet, but unmistakably earthy taste combined with their firm yet tender texture when roasted makes them a sort of maroon oxymoron of flavors. Many of us are familiar with the canned, red variety that plague chain-restaurant salad bars. They can get the job done if you really just want beets, but they’re never as good as the ones you roast at home. Fresh roasted beets have much more inherent flavor and you can often get better hints of the sugars in them due to some caramelization in the oven.
This recipe is adapted from a dish I had at a Persian restaurant in Southern California. I have enjoyed roasted beet salads before, but I never thought to combine beets with a savory yogurt dressing and pistachios. I loved the dish so much that I wanted to make it at home and I was more than satisfied with how the salad came out. This cold salad is refreshing, low calorie, and very filling.
Makes 1 salad at about 157 calories total.
- 1 large, raw beet (roughly 35 calories)
Note: In the photos, I roasted 3 beets, but don’t let that distract you.
- 3 oz. of full-fat Greek yogurt (95 calories)
- 1/4 of a garlic clove, crushed (1 calorie)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon sliced almonds or shelled, unsalted, pistachios (about 25 calories)
- 1/4 cup (roughly) of baby arugula (1 calorie)
- Optional: a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (40 calories)
- Optional: a pinch of powdered sumac
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- Latex gloves or paper towels
- Measuring cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Thoroughly wash and scrub any dirt off of the beet(s) without scraping off the skin. Then cut off the leafy stems leaving 2-3 inches of stem. Feel free to save the beet greens to use as part of a salad or to cook and make another dish with them.
- Wrap the beet completely in one layer of aluminum foil. Place the beet on the baking sheet and bake it in the oven for about 1 hour.
- After an hour, take the beet out of the oven and let it cool completely inside the foil. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. I do recommend refrigerating the beet so that it is cold. This makes the salad more refreshing.
- While the beet cools, start making the yogurt dressing by adding in the salt, pepper, and crushed garlic to the yogurt. Mix everything very well, cover it, and place it back in the fridge until you’re ready to make the salad.
- When the beet has cooled completely, open the foil and and start to peel the it. You can peel it using your hands, but wearing latex gloves will help keep your hands from getting stained red. You can also just use some paper towels if you don’t have or don’t want to use latex gloves to peel the skin off of the beet. It should come off very easily, so don’t push too hard or you’ll mess up the beet itself.
- Once the beet is peeled, take a knife and cut a thin slice off of the top and bottom of the beet where the leaves and roots used to be. That will remove any unsightly areas.
- Stand the beet up on one of the flat sides you just cut with a knife and slice it into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. You can also slice the beet into wedges (like an apple) if you prefer. Lay the slices into a wide bowl by spreading the slices out horizontally and overlapping them.
- Take about 3 oz. of the Greek yogurt dressing and spread it along the top of the beet slices. If this is too much yogurt for you, just use less. The yogurt tastes great on other foods as well, like grilled chicken, so feel free to use it in other ways. Then take 1/2 a tablespoon of sliced almonds or unsalted, shelled pistachios and put them over the yogurt.
- Next, take about a 1/4 cup of loosely packed baby arugula leaves (or just a handful) and place them over the beet salad.
- As a finishing touch, sprinkle a pinch of optional sumac over the salad. This gives the salad a little bit of decoration as well as a mild lemon-y accent. You can also drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the salad for some added depth.
- This is a delicious and filling salad, so eat it yourself as a main course or share it with someone as an appetizer!