Fall in love with beet salad: a beautiful addition to any meal

Simple and gorgeous. I added a bit of steamed kale in the middle to add aesthetic height to the beet salad.
Have pity for the vegetable that turns your urine red

I recently watched a hilarious piece by John Oliver where he critiques the policies of Hobby Lobby; in this video John pokes fun at beets, referring to them as “an abomination of a root vegetable”, and moreover, states they are bland in flavour and slimy in texture. As a lover of beets, I feel the need to come to their defence. I encourage beet-sceptics and haters to give this simple recipe a try. This is my last-ditch effort to persuade you that these nutritious, hearty vegetables are actually quite good — but please, don’t eat beets from a cheap salad bar.

What you need

Basic kitchen equipment

Good to know

Serves 6 to 8 people

25 minutes prep time; overnight marinade


• 4 regular dark purple beets the size of an apple

• 4 light fleshed beets, such as yellow beets or white “northern lights” varieties

• 4 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs; my favourites include lots of parsley tarragon, mint and chives, and minor amounts of rosemary and cilantro

• Juice of one lemon or two limes, or 4 tbsp of a flavourful vinegar (e.g., cider, rice, or raspberry)

• 4 tbsp of flavourful oil — e.g, mustard oil or olive oil

• 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp of brown sugar

• Salt

• Pepper

Let’s get to it!

Wash the beets and place in separate pots of boiling water with a dash of salt (if cooked together, the dark beets will discolour the light beets); cook covered until desired tenderness, typically until a knife can pierce through with ease.

While boiling, prepare all other ingredients and combine in a bowl (reserve some of the chopped herbs to garnish the beets the next day); this is your marinade.

Drain the beets and submerge in cold water (consider keeping the drained water as a soup stock; store in the freezer). Remove the skin with your hands and by scraping with a small knife.

Consider how you would like to plate the dish to determine how you wish to cut the beets — e.g., either in cubes, or slices, or stacks. Place each variety of cut beet in separate containers and pour equal amounts of the marinade evenly over the vegetables. To your preferences, add a hearty dash of salt and cracked pepper over the mixture. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight to marinate.

Two sets of beets waiting for their bath in the marinade.

When ready to serve, plate the two varieties next to each other for aesthetic contrast in colour; garnish with remaining fresh herbs.


I plated the beets as slices; they look like sashimi — but vegan.

This recipe was first posted on my Facebook page about personal chefs.

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