I love beets and everybody needs a good beet salad that is easy to whip up as an accompaniment to any meal. This beet salad with Greek yogurt is my go-to easy side salad. The addition of sumac and cumin along with herbs like dill and mint gives it a Middle Eastern flair. This recipe is a homage to my time in Dubai where I spent many years growing up. If I have any leftovers, it gets whipped into a dip or a spread for school or for me - more on that later.
Here is the thing, beets are so gorgeous that you need very little to make them look pretty. It always looks like you put a lot of thought into your plating. They are a delight for food fluffers like me. Yes, I call myself that because besides bringing you recipes, I also think about how to make them appetizing looking.
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE
It is a refreshing side salad to pair with any type of meal - I always love having a side salad with my lunch or dinner and this beet salad is great because it is easy to throw together in a pinch. Have your beets cooked and in the fridge as a part of meal prep or use Love Beets as I did here (#notsponsored). I love it with my Coconut Dal with Spinach it also pairs well with pasta and grilled meats
Leftovers make a great dip - The salad makes wonderful leftovers, that is if you haver any. I often eat it the next day with some hearty crackers or whip it and spread it on my toast to make a pretty flavourful open toast.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Beets. They have a subtle earthy sweetness that works well with the tartness of yogurt and lemon. I love that hot pink colour and the way it stains the yogurt, so gorgeous. I used cooked beets, but you can use roasted or steamed beets in the recipe.
Greek Yogurt or Labneh. I like the thickness of greek yogurt and it allows the beets to sit on top. I have also used Labneh and it works perfectly. If you are vegan feel free to substitute with a thick greek style vegan yogurt.
Lemon Juice. The acidic nature of lemon juice brightens up this salad. The tang helps awaken the salad and is so key to balancing the sweetness of the beets.
Toasted Cumin Powder. I recommend using toasted cumin powder - one that is toasted and then ground. The earthy tones of cumin really help balance the flavours so well in this salad.
Sumac. This spice is very commonly used across the Middle East and it is used in making Za'atar. It is similar to lemons with a tart flavour profile but with a hint of sweetness. It has a distinct red hue and complements cumin so well.
Aleppo Peppers. This pepper is different from regular crushed chili flakes, it is half as spicy with earthy undertones similar to cumin.
Mint & Dill. Two of my favourite herbs pair well with beets and with each other. These two herbs bring so much fresh accent to this salad. You can substitute it with regular chili flakes but you only need half the amount.
Prep the Yogurt or Labneh
Add the yogurt or labneh to a bowl, add in grated garlic, freshly chopped herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix till everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using the back of a spoon spread the herby yogurt on a shallow platter.
Prep the Beets
Chunk your beets, you want a good bite-size piece of beet. toss it in a bowl, along with lemon juice and zest, sumac, cumin, Aleppo peppers, salt, and pepper. Toss it with you hands till the beets are uniformly coated in the spices.
Plating and Garnishing
Arrange the beets on the platter with yogurt. Garnish with more dill and mint. Top with pistachio and pomegranate. Drizzle some olive oil and a dash of sumac and serve.
HOW TO SERVE THIS BEET SALAD
- I love this beet salad as a part of a cheese board along with some heart crackers and nuts.
- Surprisingly this beet salad also works well as a raita given it has Greek yogurt or labneh. It is not traditional but pairs really well with Indian food. So if you have a simple dal or beans like this black-eyed peas curry and rice or roti works beautifully. I also love it my tomato rice, unusual pairing but it works.
- The beet salad is so versatile and I bring it so many potlucks. It makes a refreshing side for pasta or grilled meats and fish.
- Leftovers can be blended up to make a nice dip or spread.
- 4 - 5 cooked beets
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon aleppo pepper or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 - 1.5 cups labneh or greek yogurt
- A handful of mint, roughly chopped
- A handful of dill, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 - 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Freshly chopped mint and and dill
- Handful of Pomegranate arils
- A pinch of sumac
- Chopped roasted pistachio
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- Chunk your beets, you want a good bite-size piece of beet.
- Add it to a bowl, along with lemon juice and zest, sumac, cumin, Aleppo peppers, salt, and pepper. Toss it with your hands till the beets are uniformly coated in the spices.
- Prepare the herby yogurt. Add the yogurt or labneh to a bowl. Next add in grated garlic, freshly chopped herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix till everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using the back of a spoon spread the herby yogurt on a shallow platter.
- Arranged the beets on top of the yogurt
- Garnish with mint, dill, pistachio, and pomegranate arils, drizzle off olive oil, and a pinch of sumac.