Russian vinegret or Beetroot salad – Healthy and delicious

This simple salad looks beautiful, packs a punch of flavour, and is incredibly nutritious!

The beetroot is the star here – it’s colour, texture and flavour permeates the whole dish. A simple dressing and the classic sour-but-sweet crunch of gherkins add a great contrast, all on an earthy bed of root veg.

Beetroot is also one of my obsessions, it’s health benefits being quite incredible. Aside from the high quality nutrients, vitamins and minerals it provides, it has the almost unbelievable but very much proven effect of lowering blood pressure.

As a keen runner, I also love that beetroot is listed by the international Olympic committee is one of only 5 (legal) supplements proven to improve athletic performance!

Beetroot really can do it all!!

The recipe itself has Russian roots, and my version of the recipe is not in fact mine at all – it’s an interpretation of my girlfriend’s family recipe. This was one of the first Russian classics that my girlfriend introduced me to, and I’m so glad she did.

Because it’s colourful and packed with flavour it looks and tastes great as a side to other classic Russian foods, but the flavours also mesh brilliantly with simply cooked chicken, salmon or tofu for example! Or even in a lunchbox on its own for a healthy snack.

Recipe facts

Preparation time – 10-15 minutes

Cooking time – 45 minutes from scratch

Servings – 4-5 servings

Calories – around 180-220 per serving

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes (300g)
  • 3 small-medium carrots (300g)
  • 3 medium beetroot (400-450g)
  • 5-7 medium gherkins
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white cider or white wine vinegar
  • Handful of chives or dill
Ingredients assemble!

Cheaters’ notes

This recipe is delicious cooked with fresh veg – however, you can always use leftover veg or tinned veg! Tinned potatoes, carrots and packaged beetroot do taste different but as a quicker and still healthy salad I think they’re fine options!

Method

If you’re not cheating (and there is nothing wrong with cheating!) you’ll need to cook your veg.

The beetroot will take the longest – scrub it gently to remove dirt and boil covered in pan with the skins on for around 40-45 minutes until a knife slips in easily. You don’t need to add salt as beetroot has a naturally high sodium content. Drain and allow to cool when done before peeling.

Peel your potatoes and your carrots and cube them to approximately 1cm cubes them prior to cooking to save yourself a task later! Boil with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes testing frequently to make sure the potato cubes don’t go too flakey!

This bits the easy bit – simply cube everything that hasn’t yet been cubed, it looks and mixes up best if the cubes are all the same size (I aim for 1cm cubes)

Pop everything you’ve chopped in a bowl and mix gently with the oil and vinegar.

Finally add the herbs and a crack of salt and pepper as desired!

Serving suggestions

Serve with other Russian classics like Pelmeni (Russian dumplings), Piroshki (Russian pastries) or with simple meatballs and sauce.

Served with rice and Russian meatballs

I often take it alone for lunch, or have it with a simple fillet of steamed salmon or roast chicken breast to add some extra protein.

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