If you love beets, beetroot salad is another way to enjoy this healthy delicious vegetable. Best of all, the recipe has only a few simple ingredients and is very easy to make.
Beyond the beetroot, our favorite part of the salad is the addition of horseradish. It gives the salad a spicy kick and makes the deceptively simple salad a very flavorful and memorable side dish.
We were introduced to beetroot salad during a recent visit to Bucharest, Romania. Romanian cuisine features a lot of meat based dishes. There are many varieties of sausages, slow cooked roasted pork knuckle, cabbages stuffed with minced meats and many other beef and lamb and pork dishes were standards on Romanian restaurant menus.
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With all of those heavy meat dishes, along with roasted or mashed vegetables and sour cream on the side, something lighter on the plate is a welcome addition.
One of my favorite sides was this cold beetroot salad. This simple dish is tangy and sweet, and also adds beautiful color that makes a plate of meat and potatoes into a feast for the eyes.
In addition to the beautiful color or the beets, the fresh grated horseradish (or jarred in a pinch) in the recipe refreshens the palate and rounds out the flavors of grilled or roasted main dishes.
Since it’s typically served cold, the salad also makes a nice make ahead alternative to coleslaw and lacks heavy mayonnaise to lighten up your plate.
Here are some additional Eastern European recipes you might enjoy!
Romanian Beet Salad with Horseradish
This cold beetroot salad is a favorite in Romania. The beets are mixed with a combination of sweet and sour ingredients that make it a great summer dish, or an accompaniment to heavier dishes. Since it's served cold, it also makes a great make ahead side dish option.
- 4 medium beets
- 1/3 Cup (79 ml) vegetable oil (not olive)
- 1/4 Cup (60 ml) white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp (12 g) sugar
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) freshly grated horseradish
- Fresh dill (for garnish)
- Wash beats to remove any remaining dirt.
- Boil beets in their skin for 25 minutes or until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
- Drain and allow beets to cool, then peel and chop into small cubes.
- Add grated horseradish.
- In a bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Whisk together.
- Add the liquid over the chopped beets and toss to mix.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve cold, garnished with a sprig or two of fresh dill
Short cut: cleaning and peeling fresh beets is a painstaking process. You can drop the prep time significantly by using canned beets. No peeling necessary!
If you can't find fresh horseradish, you can use horseradish from a jar, just cut back on the vinegar as the prepared version is usually contains vinegar already