This beautiful Roasted Red Beet Salad With Yoghurt And Dill is a combination of roasted red beets (beetroot), cumin-infused oil, vibrantly fresh dill, Spanish onions and preserved lemons finished with a perfectly simple but oh so good yoghurt and tahini dressing. Sounds simple and it is, but that’s where the beauty lies………….everything is in perfect harmony.
The Roasted Red Beet Salad With Yoghurt And Dill is intense and earthy and the whole marriage completely works. We both instantly said this salad will be a must for our Christmas Day celebration.
The colours are crimson and vibrant with flecks of dill, strewn with slivers of red onion and beet stained preserved lemon topped with snow-white yoghurt, mixed with tahini………… BIG FAT YUM 🥰
At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Roasted Red Beet Salad With Yoghurt And Dill
salt and black pepper
fresh lemon juice
Yotam Ottolenghi Recipe
This salad is adapted from the incredibly talented Yotam Ottolenghi from his book titled ’Simple’. Yotam has an amazing handle on putting flavours together and is a wizard in the marriage of flavours. We’re huge fans!
How To Roast Beets (Beetroots) In Foil
If you grew up eating tinned beetroot sliced, and soggy in vinegar you’re in for a treat. Roasting beetroot intensifies the beetroot natural sweetness and leaves it with a lovely velvety, not soggy texture.
Prepare your beetroot (beets) by trimming the leaves and the root from the bulb.
Wrap beetroot in foil and place on a tray with a little room between each piece and pop into a preheated 180c (355f) oven.
Depending on the size, beetroot will take around an hour to cook (less if they are quite small, like a golfball size).
Test with a skewer which should easily glide into the beetroot and remove from oven and allow to cool a little before peeling.
Hot Tip – Beetroot Stains……… Everything 🤨
Beetroot will obviously stain your hands so use a pair of latex gloves to peel them.
Don’t use your best wooden chopping board to cut the beetroot as it’s difficult to remove the beetroot stain.
We keep a plastic board for this kind of job which you can pop into the dishwasher for an easy clean.
Rub the beetroot and the skin will easily slide off then cut into wedges. You’re now good to go. Too easy!
Hot Tip – Beetroot Leaves
Don’t throw the leaves away as they’re delicious sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic and caraway seeds, and maybe served with a little dollop of yogurt, or creme fraiche.
Or sauté leaves in olive oil along with some garlic, chilli flakes, a crumble of feta and a squeeze of lemon juice.
What’s The Difference Between Lemons And Preserved Lemons?
Preserving lemons with salt really intensifies the natural lemony citrus flavour. You only use the skin and discard the flesh.
It takes a few weeks for the lemons to start to soften in the salt brine, but as the technique is super quick, and easy it’s well worth taking a few minutes to make a large jar, or two.
If you were to use fresh lemon rind it just won’t cut it. Fresh lemon rind is sharp, and acrid and will add a bitter note to the salad.
However, at a pinch, you could peel fresh lemon using a vegetable peeler being careful to not peel any of the white pith.
Pour boiling water over the lemon rind and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to soften. Use a sharp knife to cut fine slivers.
It will still bring a nice lemony pop to the salad but will lack the intensity and flavour of preserved lemons
Hot Tip – Use Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker, richer and tangier than ordinary plain yogurt. It’s made by eliminating the whey, hence taking significantly more milk to make than regular yogurt.
Cumin Seeds Taste
Cumin seeds bring a lot to this party. They are fried in oil until they just start to pop which increases cumins bright, earthy and slightly spicy flavour.
They are used to complement the natural sweetness of the beetroot and add an intense burst of flavour into this salad.
We’ve increased the amount of cumin in Yotam’s recipe as we both particularly liked the ‘pop’ of cumin seeds throughout the salad. Up to you though. (Sorry Yotam)
What Is Tahini Paste
Tahini paste is made by grinding sesame seeds. It’s available as unroasted, raw or roasted. Roasted is what we’ve used to mix with the yogurt as the flavour is much nuttier, and intense.
Watch How To Make Roasted Red Beet Salad With Yoghurt And Dill
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Can I Prepare Red Beet Salad Ahead Of Time
Yes you can. We made this salad, and made a lot. Over the course of the next two days, we served the beetroot salad and it was still outstanding.
The only thing we would do to prepare this in advance is to hold back on adding the fresh dill until you’re ready to serve so the vibrancy of the fresh dill is singing.
You can go ahead and roast your beetroot and add all of the other ingredients and refrigerate for 2-3 days before tossing through the fresh dill before serving.
Likewise, the yogurt and tahini can be mixed ahead of time and refrigerated ready to dollop over the salad.
What To Serve With Red Beet Salad
Beet pairs well with fish, meats, hard-boiled eggs, grilled halloumi …..
- any smoked fish such as trout, salmon, or mackerel goes well
- use as part of a buffet salad selection
- grilled halloumi, or fresh goats cheese on a bed of baby rocket (arugula) served with the beetroot salad
- served alongside hard-boiled eggs
- beetroot goes well with proteins such as beef, pork, chicken, duck, or lamb
- try it with our Roast Lamb with Fetta and Olive Dressing
- Baked Ham with Spiced Orange Glaze
- Orange and Sage Turkey Roulade
Don’t forget to rate this recipe and let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Roasted Red Beet Salad With Yoghurt And Dill in the reviews below.
Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 1 kg beetroot, cleaned but with skin on (2.2 lb)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 150 g greek style yoghurt
- 1 tbsp roasted tahini
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly 100 gm / 3.5 oz
- 1 small preserved lemon, discard the flesh then briefly rinse the skin with cold water and slice into thin slivers
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- fresh dill 15 gm / .5 oz
- salt and black pepper
Cook The Beetroot
- preheat the oven to 220c / 430 f
- individually wrap each beetroot in a piece of foil, place on a baking tray and bake until a skewer or knife slides in easily, 30 - 60 minutes
- when cool enough to handle trim the stem end to remove any woody bits and slide the skin off the beetroot, slice into wedges and place in a large bowl
Yoghurt Dressing - prepare while the beetroot cook
- in a small bowl combine the yoghurt and tahini, stir to combine and refrigerate until needed
- add the olive oil and cumin seeds to a small pan and using medium heat cook until the cumin seeds start to change colour and some begin to pop
- pour the hot oil and cumin seeds over the beetroot
- add the sliced onions, preserved lemon, lemon juice, 2/3's of the dill (reserve remaining dill for garnish) salt and black pepper - mix together and transfer to a serving platter
- when ready to serve dollop the salad with the tahini yoghurt dressing then stir minimally - you want the dressing and beetroot to be only slightly mixed.
- sprinkle with the remaining dill and enjoy!