This simple beet and cucumber salad made with dill and creamy Greek yogurt vinaigrette is crunchy and perfect for any occasion.
Crunchy cucumber, roasted beets with fresh herbs, and creamy yogurt dressing make a healthy and delicious salad that can be served as a stand-alone salad or a side dish.
This cucumber beet salad is easy and great when cucumbers and beetroot are in the season. While cucumbers have their peek in summer, beets are available year-round, and winter is the prime time for baby beets. So this salad is the one we make all year.
Beets taste different, and only some people like them. I used to be one of those people, but not anymore. Now, I make dishes that my whole family, even my kids, love beets. We put beetroot powder on yogurt, make smoothies with beets, pickled beets, beet pasta sauce and the kids really enjoy beet chips. They’ve become our favorite snack when we watch movies together.
Why you will love this recipe
Tackles the Earthy Flavor of Beetroot
This dish is perfect for those hesitant about the earthy taste of raw beets but eager to explore. We have two innovations that address the earthy flavor.
Beets naturally have an earthy taste due to geosmin, also found in carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Adding lemon to the recipe helps diminish this earthy taste. Additionally, roasting the beets enhances the flavor and adds a crunchy texture that reminds of root chips rather than pieces of veggies.
Packed with essential vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants from delicious beets and fresh herbs like dill and mint, this recipe offers a nutrient-rich salad packed with sweet, tangy, and salty flavors that please all family members.
While perfect when garden cucumbers and beetroots are in season, the beauty of this recipe lies in its adaptability, allowing you to enjoy its deliciousness throughout the year.
This dish is perfect for those who are hesitant about the earthy taste of beets but eager to explore. We have two innovations that address this earthy flavor.
Ingredients to make beet and cucumber salad
Benefits of beets
Raw beets are a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that support immune function, heart health, and digestion. The nutrition of this beet salad is enriched with nitrates that improve cardiovascular health by dilating blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure.
The problem with them is their earthy taste and soft texture, which only some people like. I started to eat beets when I discovered the roasting process that made them crunchy and tasty. While some recipes call for cooked beets or use canned beets, I vote for freshly roasted beets that improve the taste and texture of beetroot.
The only disadvantage is the timing. This beet and cucumber salad recipe takes only 10 minutes to throw together without roasting it.
The addition of cucumbers, herbs and yogurt dressing add to the delicious taste and nutrition of this beet salad.
You can use crunchy garden cucumbers when they’re in season or English cucumbers that are also perfect for this salad. The question is whether to peel or use the cucumber with the skin on.
While The fresh cucumber peel contains fiber and certain nutrients, some people enjoy the added crunch and color that the peel provides, while others may find it slightly bitter and prefer a smoother texture without the peel.
English, Lebanese or Persian cucumbers have softer skins that need not be peeled.
Fresh dill has a unique, slightly tangy flavor that complements the earthy, sweet beets and adds a refreshing note to the salad.
Mint brings a cool, refreshing flavor with a hint of sweetness and a subtle peppery undertone. The combination of mint with cucumber is a classic pairing that enhances the salad’s crispness.
I love to add roasted sunflower seeds or other seeds or nuts to this lovely salad.
- Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
- fresh garlic minced
- honey or maple syrup for plant-based diet to add some sweetness.
- extra virgin olive oil or herb infused olive oils
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh dill chopped
Cucumber and beetroot salad recipe
First step: Roast the beets
Peel and cut the fresh beets into ½ cm slices and place the sliced beets on parchment paper in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil (I use a basting brush to cover the beet slices from both sides with olive oil), sprinkle with salt, and bake for about an hour at 200°C.
Second step: Toast the sunflower seeds
While waiting, toast the sunflower or pine seeds in a skillet over medium heat until they become golden. Keep an eye on them, and stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Third step: Slice the cucumbers
Whether you decide to peel the cucumber or not, cut the cucumber into thin slices.
Fourth step: Make the dressing
Separate the stems from the leaves and chop the fronds into small pieces using a sharp knife. In the small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk them to combine.
Fifth step: Assemble the salad
Place the roasted beets and cucumber slices into a mixing bowl, add half of the herbs fresh herbs, dress them with the yogurt vinegarette, and mix well. Plate the salad, sprinkle toasted sunflower seeds and remaining herbs on the top.
Cucumber beetroot salad Variations
- Add fruits like oranges or grapefruits that complement beets’ earthiness and a zesty kick to the salad.
- Toss in some salty, crumbled feta. The salad with feta cheese pairs well with the sweetness of beets.
- Sprinkle roasted nuts such as almonds instead of sunflower seeds.
- Create an Asian-inspired umami version by drizzling the salad with a sesame soy dressing and garnishing it with sesame seeds.
How to serve this salad
- Serve this cucumber beet salad as a refreshing side salad alongside grilled chicken, fish, or any other protein. Its vibrant colors and crisp flavors make it a perfect complement to a main course.
- A great way to enjoy this cucumber beetroot salad is on a bed of fresh salad greens, such as arugula or spinach. This adds an extra layer of texture and nutrition, creating a well-rounded salad.
- Transform your cucumber salad recipe into a hearty meal by mixing in cooked quinoa. This variation adds a satisfying grainy texture and boosts the salad’s protein content.
- Enhance the salad with a protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. This turns the salad into a complete and satisfying meal.
- Stuff the salad into a whole-grain wrap or pita for a portable and convenient meal. This is an excellent option for a quick and healthy lunch.
- Spoon this simple cucumber beet salad onto toasted bread or bruschetta for a colorful and flavorful appetizer.
Tips and Tricks for the best beet cucumber salad
- Red beets can stain, so be cautious when handling them, as the color may linger on wooden surfaces, like cutting boards. While your hands can be scrubbed clean after a few washes, wooden surfaces may retain the stain. Consider using a porcelain plate for cutting beets and wear gloves to avoid your hands getting red. You can also use golden beets that have similar flavor but don’t stain.
- Don’t discard leftover beet greens; instead, utilize them just like you would spinach or kale. Incorporate them into soups or sauté them with scrambled eggs.
- Use a food processor or a vegetable peeler to obtain equally sized pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, use a mandoline for a similar effect.
Cucumber beet salad Storage tips
For the best taste and texture, consume the salad within 2-3 days. The freshness of the ingredients, especially cucumbers, tends to decline over time. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This helps maintain its crispness and prevents it from drying out.
Store the dressing separately and toss it with the salad when ready to eat.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe.