Fresh Beets

Cooking with fresh beets is fun, and if you love the color purple as much as I do, using your hands without gloves to prepare them makes the work even more fun as your hands turn purple!  Life’s simple pleasures – right!?  

In early summer when medium to larger beets come in season without their leaves is the perfect time to make this salad, as all the ingredients are available at the Farmer’s Market.  It is early June here and I created this salad using vegetables from In Good Heart Farm ( My family loves this salad and asks for it often this time of year, as it reminds us of the transition from spring to summer.  Enjoy!


Beet Cucumber Fennel Onion and Radish Salad


1 to 2 Tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh dill or ¼ teaspoon dried dill

6 roasted beets peeled and quartered or eighths

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ to 1 teaspoon honey



1 cucumber 10 to 12 inch in length washed and sliced thinly. (Peeled if waxed or not organic.)

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 bulb fennel thinly sliced (freeze or dehydrate any green fennel tops and leaves for minestrone soup stock)

¼ cup sweet onion sliced paperthin

¼ cup radishes sliced thin

Roasting beets can be done in advance.  Store beets in refrigerator after removing peels and stem remnants for up to 3 days prior to use in this salad.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash beets to remove any dirt and cut off greens without cutting into beets.  It is okay to leave a half of an inch of beet stem attached to beetroot.

Place beetroots on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Salt and pepper and place in the oven to bake for 45 to 60 minutes.  Test for tenderness at 45 minutes.  Remove from oven when fork tender.  Cool to room temperature. Peel and quarter or eighth size depending on the size you like.

 Mix the dressing ingredients and let sit at room temperature while preparing other vegetables. Marinating the beets in the dressing adds extra flavor.

 Prepare salad vegetables.

 Toss vegetables with dressing and chill for 30 minutes prior to serving


Copyright The Gardener’s Kitchen 2009