January 1, 2021

Turkish Beetroot Salad, Grounding Culinary Medicine for a New Year, Vegan and Gluten Free

Beetroot salad

I know I say this all the time, but REALLY this is one of my favorite recipes.

I have been craving beets ever since this new reality of ours has surfaced. Every grocery order  that I do, I inadvertently forget the beets. Not this time, I really needed them. Here’e why.

Last year, I  taught a Turkish Cuisine class. The food was wonderful, but the  real star was the beet salad. Its simplicity, with just a few ingredients, packed such a powerful flavor, it literally stunned everyone in the class. Those are the recipes that I put in my mental filing cabinet  as true Culinary Medicine.

  Beets are the best liver cleansers you’ll ever find. We are trying to navigate a way through our collective trauma, and why not with good food ? 


The beets arrived in my grocery order just in the nick of time. A knock at the door and there they were.

 They are grounding  and exactly the right food for this moment in time. They are round, like the earth, and have and earthy taste. Beets are the food of my ancestors.  And I need to know they are there watching over me. This salad reminded me that they are. 

Turkish Beetroot Salad


  • 2 large beets peeled and quartered

  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar or what you have on hand

  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, I use coconut sugar it has a lower glycemic index.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large clove garlic

  • 1 cup of yogurt or vegan yogurt, I used Kite Hill Sour Cream

  • 1 Tablespoon either dill or cilantro

  • salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Wash well, peel and slice the beets in half for easy grating. Boil until slightly tender. Drain and let cool. Grate in a large bowl. You can either use a hand grater or food processor.
  2. Stir together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the cooled beets and allow to marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle, or food processor, add 1/8 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste. Stir into the yogurt or sour cream. .
  4. Stir in half the dill or cilantro . Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the beets and stir some of the marinade into the yogurt (to taste). Toss with the beets or arrange the beets on a platter and drizzle the yogurt over the top. I like to mix mine in .
  5. Sprinkle on the remaining dill or cilantro and serve and serve.

This is SO delicious and so easy, that I would argue that its better than dessert. I promise you, you will love it. Here's to a a happy and Healthy 2021!

Laurel Herman
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It's more than food. Culinary experience | Food substitution guidance | Culinary medicine
Copyright Laurel Herman aka the blissed out chef
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