Beets can be eaten in many ways but when they are uncooked, like in this Raw Beet Salad, they are crunchy, chewy, and earthy. Paired with sweet oranges, parsley, pistachios, and a touch of fennel, this simple-to-make salad is both colorful and flavorful.
I know beets are a contentious topic. Some like them, some hate them. Well, I am taking an official position and declaring that I just love beets. I find their natural, earthy taste to be so appealingly unique. This salad allows them to shine in their most basic form: raw. Serve it as a side dish to a holiday meal or as a side salad to an everyday dinner, like I have done here with some mjaddara.
Raw beets have a naturally sweet taste and crunchy texture. When coated with the lemon juice dressing, however, the beets break down slightly and deliver a toothy chew.
If you like beets but are unsure about raw beets, go ahead and roast or steam them, slice them, and use them in this recipe just as I’ve used them raw. It makes for a more tender, but equally delicious, salad. You could also top this salad with some crumbled almond cheese.
- 4 cups julienned raw beets
- 2-3 navel or other seedless oranges, peeled and sliced/supremed
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 3½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
- Peel the beets and slice into thin matchstick pieces. The easiest way to do this is to slice the beet into ⅛ inch slices and then stack these slices and cut into matchstick-sized pieces. Put these julienned beets into a large bowl.
- Using a knife, remove the skin and pith from the oranges. You can either supreme the oranges (remove each segment from in between the membranes) or just quarter the oranges from end to end and then slice these quartered pieces into little bite-sized slices. Put the oranges in the bowl with the beets. If any orange juice accumulates from slicing, add that to the bowl, too.
- Chop the parsley, pistachios, and scallion and add to the salad bowl.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and fennel and toss well to combine.
- After well mixed, taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly if necessary.
-You can use raw pistachios if you want to keep the salad entirely raw or you can roast them lightly. Don't have pistachios? Walnuts make a great substitute.
-You can easily make this salad with cooked beets if you prefer. Just roast or steam some beets and proceed with the recipe.