Golden Beet Tartare (Ok, Really, Diced Beet Salad) – Recipe


Wait! Wait! If you think you hate beets, don't surf away yet.

I love beets. I would eat them on a boat, I would eat them with a goat. I would eat them in the rain, or in the dark or on a train.

If your only experience is with canned beets, you haven't really ever had beets. I can't tell you how many people I've converted to shameless beet-loving over the years. I'm a certified beet evangelist. (Which makes it legal for me to marry root vegetables in most states).

Of course today's dish is really a beet salad, but using some of the complementary flavors often associated with beef tartare. The visual resemblance would be stronger with red beets, but I'm not really trying to mimic a meat dish here, just riffing off of it. I didn't think it needed a raw egg on top, but I did put rosemary mayo on the toast for a little fattiness. Sieved hardboiled egg would be nice too. I didn't add anything acidic, but if you want a little citrus juice in there it is ok with me.

You could serve this as an appetizer, or as a side salad with a grilled entree.

Golden Beet Tartare (aka. Finely Diced Beet Salad)
Vegetarian, vegan if you omit mayo or use a vegan mayo, gluten free if you omit the toast
Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 large golden beets (enough to yield 1.5 c. diced)
  • 1/4 cup peeled, seeded and finely cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • flaky salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • black pepper
  • 4 pieces of thin, toasted or grilled bread cut as you see fit
  1. Combine the mayo, rosemary and a couple pinches of salt. Do this first so the flavor of the herb has time to develop.
  2. Boil the beets whole, in salted water, until tender. Remove the peels and then finely dice until you have 1.5 cups of dice. They should be no larger than 1/8". The easiest way to do this is slice off all 6 sides until you have a cube, then cut first into uniform slices, then batons (sticks), then dice. You'll have some extra stuff you can snack on or save for another purpose. If you take your time and do a nice dice, this dish would look really good.
  3. Combine the beets, cucumber, onion, capers, olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. To plate, arrange a mound of beets on each of 4 plates, or use a ring mold. Top with the chives, black pepper, and a few more flakes of salt.
  5. Spread the rosemary mayo on the toast and serve.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, May 7th, 2009 in Appetizers, Salads.

14 Responses to “Golden Beet Tartare (Ok, Really, Diced Beet Salad) – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    Ok Mr. Natkin I don’t like beets but I give you my word I am going to try this and I hope it changes my anti-beet attitude.

  2. Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I like red beets better, and mayo not so much, but I can riff off this with the bread. Or maybe just give the golden beets another shot with mayo.

    What do you do with the beet greens?

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    May 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    This batch of beets was bought without the greens (sadly), but here’s
    something tasty I’ve done with them in the past:

    link to

  4. Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    I love beets and my husband hates them. It is tough. 🙂 Last summer I made him taste golden beets and he hated them slightly less. This looks lovely!

  5. Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    This looks fantastic, and I have beets from CSA. I think this will be in their future.

  6. Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    I LOVE beets and will try this recipe soonest! Thanks! 🙂 Silke

  7. Reply
    May 9, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    This looks awesome! I would love to try it with part yellow and part red beets (not mixed, but side-by-side) the idea of capers with beets sounds just AMAZING! It all sounds amazing. Oh. Yum. (and the picture is, of course, gorgeous!!!)
    —Again, thank you for providing vegan options for your recipes, not that this particular recipe would need much modification, but it’s always appreciated!!

  8. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    May 9, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    Thanks Marti! I think a red/yellow pairing would be cool. You could
    flavor each half differently.

  9. Reply
    July 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    I recently did something similar to this except I hot pickled the beets instead of boiling them. The brine adds some much needed flavor to out of season root veggies and my boss even kept it on our Vegetarian Buffet as a permenant item.
    Long live beets!

  10. Reply
    Mark Nelson
    November 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    I served a version of this on Belgian endive leaves. Very good.

  11. Reply
    February 8, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    I made this last night with canned red beets. (Hey…wintertime in Providence…you go with what you’ve got!) I also forgot to get the cucumber. And had no red onion, so I swapped in 2T of white onions. And no maldon salt. Despite all this (and with the substitution of 1/4-thick slices from a Baguette we got in CT — nearest thing I’ve found to the stuff we ate in Grenoble during a sabbatical) my version got rave reviews. Very satisfying to have a recipe where I can use two of the few plants that are still usable (the rosemary bush and the potted chives) too!

    I really like the idea of the red-and-yellow beets mix. I might even try adding some purple-haze carrots [check your seed catalogue to see how they look] to the mix this summer.

  12. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    February 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    @John – love the variations! Good to know it works with canned too. We ate at a great Seattle place recently, Steelhead Diner, and they had a beet tartare on their menu too, though it was quite a bit different. The server told us that she occasionally has someone who thinks they ordered beef tartare and it is a rude surprise :).

  13. Reply
    March 11, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    “Golden Beet salad” is my one the favorites salad . like if you want my salad recipes please visit my site.

  14. Reply
    October 23, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    This was delicious! Peeling off the skin of the golden beets was like unwrapping gold! Thanks for the recipe.

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