Beet and Gherkin Salad

Beet and Gherkin Salad - trust in kim

This beautiful salad comes to us from my new favourite cookbook, Mamushka: A Cookbook by Olia Hercules. The book is a beautiful and delicious-looking collection of recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The author has a great love for vegetables, so there are many recipes where you can get your fill of them, along with lots of meaty recipes.

This salad is very popular in Russia, although typically made with boiled vegetables rather than roasted. I love roasted vegetables, so a salad made with them was a must-try for me. It is simple, with just some salt, pepper and unrefined sunflower oil for added flavour. I was able to find a bottle of unrefined sunflower oil at Whole Foods; it has a nice nutty flavour. If you can’t find it, or don’t like it, you can substitute with canola oil.

The only change I will made to this recipe is the amount of red onion. Because I found the onion had too strong a bite, I will only add a few tablespoons when I make this again. If you find a milder and sweeter tasting red onion, feel free to add half of it.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons refined sunflower oil
  • 1 lb beets, peeled and diced into 6mm cubes (I used mostly golden beets, and a few red ones)
  • 315 grams Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 6mm cubes
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 tablespoons red onion
  • 1 large dill pickle (gherkin) diced
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sunflower oil

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the beets and potatoes with the refined sunflower oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast until they start to caramelize, about 40 minutes.
  3. Allow the beets and potatoes to cool.
  4. Blanch the peas in salted boiling water for about a minute, then drain them.
  5. Combine all the ingredients, and then taste to adjust seasonings.
  6. Serve at room temperature.

Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Goat Cheese

roasted beet goat cheese and walnut salad - trust in kim

This is a beauty of a salad. You can use red beets, but as you can see, I chose to use golden beets this time. I love the combination of beets, goat cheese and walnuts with the shallot dressing. Roasting the beets ahead of time makes this a quick salad to put together at the last minute.

This recipe comes to us from The Vancouver Sun’s book The Best Salads.

You can buy cooked beets, but I prefer the taste of home-roasted beets. The original recipe asked you to slice and bake the beets. I roasted them whole instead.

I bought a beautiful Okanogan, BC goat cheese from Dussa’s at Granville Island, Vancouver for this salad.

What you need for the salad:

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

What you need for the salad:

  • 5 beets (1 & 1/4 pounds in total)
  • foil for cooking the beets
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soft unripened goat cheese
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Roast the beets ahead of time, or early enough that they have time to cool down before using in the salad. Wash, then cover each beet in foil. Bake at 400F for about 50 minutes. Test with a sharp knife to see if they are soft all the way through. When the beets have cooled, peel the skins off. Refrigerate if you are making them ahead of time. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour before using, so they can come to room temperature.
  2. After the beets come out of the oven, turn the oven off and put the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven. Check them after about 5 minutes to see how they are doing. Keep them in the oven until they are lightly toasted – beware, though – even with the oven off they can burn easily. Let them cool, then put them in an airtight container if you won’t be using them right away.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and let it sit for at least an hour. This can be made ahead and refrigerated.
  4. Toss the greens with some of the vinaigrette and arrange on large plates for serving. Slice the room temperature beets and arrange them on top, along with some goat cheese and walnuts. Add a little more vinaigrette to the top if you wish. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Enjoy!