Would you look at those colors?! This roasted beet side dish is the prettiest recipe I’ve made in a long time, and the leftovers look like an abstract Easter basket.
This recipe comes from a new cookbook called Eat What You Want by Gaby Dalkin. You may know Gaby from her blog, What’s Gaby Cooking. I love Gaby’s fresh, California-style cooking and boundless enthusiasm for all things food-related!
The funny thing is that I’ve never met Gaby in person, but I feel like I know her after watching her on Instagram over the years. We share an affinity for fresh herbs and flaky sea salt, and I turn to her blog and cookbook for inspiration often. When she offered to send me a copy of her cookbook, I said yes, of course.
Her newest book features “125 recipes for real life” and I had a hard time choosing just one to share with you. I’ve been on a beet kick lately, so beets won the draw. This recipe also gave me an excuse to make Gaby’s go-to basil vinaigrette, which I’ve been meaning to try for ages.
This dish features roasted beets over thick yogurt (I used Siggi’s “skyr” instead of labneh), with fresh basil vinaigrette, avocado wedges, and a heavy sprinkling of fresh herbs. Even my husband, who’s not a fan of beets, went back for more.
Since ingredients are harder to come by right now, I’m sharing my thoughts on potential substitutions. Here they are:
These are the star of the show, so I’m hesitant to offer any alternatives. Gaby’s right—the combination of red and yellow beets is gorgeous. This summer, I might try slices of ripe peaches and other stone fruits instead, which would yield a creamy, herbed fruit salad situation.
I’ve never roasted shallots in this fashion before, but I’m hooked. If you can’t find them, you could slice a small red onion into 1-inch wedges instead.
Labneh is extra-thick yogurt with an almost cream cheese-like tang. It is delicious. Gaby suggests buying it at specialty markets. I couldn’t find any labneh at Whole Foods, so I used Siggi’s brand of skyr instead (another variety of thick yogurt).
In a pinch, you could use Greek yogurt, or better yet, strain Greek yogurt through cheesecloth for a few hours. If you’re dairy free or vegan, you could try a double batch of my vegan sour cream instead.
Fresh Basil, Dill and Mint
Gaby uses all three in this recipe. If you need to simplify, you could use just one for the dressing and garnish. You could also swap less expensive flat-leaf parsley or cilantro for any of the above, since they also go well with beets.
Since the yogurt is so creamy, you could get by without the avocado.
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments, and be sure to check out Gaby’s newest book. If you’re in the mood for more fun salads like this one, try these:
- Gaby’s Cucumber Salad
- Roasted & Raw Carrot Salad with Avocado
- Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Drizzle
- Blood Orange & Avocado Salad
- Layered Panzanella: Save this one for tomato season!
Gaby’s Roasted Beets and Labneh
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
You’ll love this vibrant, healthy dish from the new Eat What You Want Cookbook by Gaby Dalkin. It features roasted beets over ultra creamy labneh, with avocado, homemade basil vinagrette and fresh herbs. Serve it as a side dish, salad or light meal. Recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.
- 4 bunches beets (2 to 3 pounds should be plenty), half orange and half red
- 2 shallots, peeled and sliced into quarters
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups labneh (labneh is extra-thick Greek yogurt—see notes for details)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons basil vinaigrette (below)
- 1 to 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced into wedges or chunks
- Fresh mint leaves
- Fresh dill leaves
- Flaky sea salt (or kosher salt)
Basil Vinaigrette (this makes 1 cup, so you’ll have plenty extra)
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 cups (95 grams) tightly packed fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scrub and trim the beets and slice them into wedges (about ½ to ¾-inch thick on the widest edge). Toss the beets and shallots with the olive oil and season with the red pepper flakes (go easy on the flakes if you’re sensitive to spice), salt and pepper. Transfer the seasoned beets and shallots to the prepared baking sheet (it’s ok if they overlap) and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to come to room temperature.
- To make the basil vinaigrette: In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine the shallot, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Blend for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread the labneh on a large platter, dollop with basil vinaigrette, and scatter with the beets and avocado wedges. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves, dill, and flaky salt (don’t hold back) and serve.
This recipe comes from Cook What You Want by Gaby Dalkin. I added a few of my cooking notes in parentheses.
Labneh note: I cheated and use Siggi’s 4% yogurt instead. Gaby suggests that you can find labneh, an extra-thick yogurt, at specialty markets. Or, strain plain Greek yogurt through a cheesecloth for a few hours.
Change it up: If you can’t find fresh basil, dill and mint, you could simplify and use just one. Feel free to substitute Italian parsley or cilantro for any/all of them—beets go well with all of these herbs.
Storage suggestions and leftovers: This dish should keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for about three days. Leftover basil vinaigrette is great on fresh, summery salads. It will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Make it dairy free/vegan: You could use vegan sour cream in place of the labneh.