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.
Orange beets end up getting black spots while roasting in the oven. Any tips to avoid that?
Hi there! Some of my yellow beets developed some darker caramelization spots (a sign of extra flavor) but I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I’m afraid I don’t have any solutions for that!
You mentioned flaky sea salt. I was wondering what type and brand you recommend?
Hi Lana! I’m a big fan of Maldon flaky sea salt. You can buy it at Whole Foods, well-stocked grocery stores and on Amazon. I added a link to it in the ingredients section. Hope that helps!
This is definitely 1 beautiful side dish! I bet it would make a decent, light entree with some roasted or straight-from-the-can chickpeas.
Sorry to hear you’re struggling with recipe development, Kate! I know I’m struggling just planning meals for the week ahead of grocery shopping. These are tough times… but we’ll get through.
Personally, I’d love to see some veggie-filled rice or pasta recipes (now that I’ve finally been able to source some), but I’d also be happy to see updated recipes from your archives again, or even just lots of Cookie pictures on Instagram :)
Thank you for sharing, Hayley! Cookie may make more of an appearance. She is always up to something!
Are there specific instructions for making the basil vinaigrette? Combine all ingredients in a food processor?
Hi Marilyn! Yes, it’s that simple. You’ll find instructions in step 3—sorry for the confusion! I realized I left out that detail shortly after hitting publish.
Roasted beets are delicious; can’t wait to try this once I get fresh beets.
I hope you love it, Georgie!
Just wanted to clarify something about the labneh – you mention that if you can’t find it, in a pinch you can strain Greek yoghurt. I’m sure you already know this, but that in fact is exactly what labneh is. I just wanted to clarify it in case someone might have thought that by straining yoghurt they had an inferior substitution for “real” labneh:).
Thank you for your comment, Sasha! :)
Just want to confirm—no pealing the beets?? Excited for their!
Hi! Yes, no need to peel. Just scrub clean. But if you like to, feel free!
You can make Labneh by mixing 1hg of Natural Greek yoghut with 3/4 tsp of salt, then putting it in a muslin or chux lined collander, over a bowl and place in a cool spot overnight. Drain the whey off the next day and enjoy.
Thank you for sharing, Robert!
Added some carrots with the beats, very yummy!
Kate — I’ve been meaning to post a comment for a while. You really are my hero — I’ve never been terribly good at cooking, but your recipes are so good and so spot on, I’ve actually started to enjoy making and eating my own food! Please keep doing what you do :) I tell everyone I know about your blog and give your cookbooks as housewarming presents. I made the above yesterday with skyr like you did and it turned out great.
Since you are looking for ideas, I’d love a Potato/Leek Soup Recipe and even more, a Ramen recipe (esp with a variety of vegetables).
You’re so sweet, thank you! I’m so happy you love my recipes. Food just sometimes taste better when you make it, right! Thanks for sharing, Priya.
This looks delicious. Does the book give the number of servings throughout? I had to give up on Gaby’s website because she never said how many portions her recipes made (even when I tried asking in the comments!)
Hi Kat! I just double-checked to be sure, and yes, her book does include serving details (she suggested this recipe yields 6 to 8 portions). Hope that helps!
AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe, good to find new ways to enjoy beetroots!
Thank you, Laura!
This took a bit of time to make but totally worth. Thanks for sharing.
This was SO delicious and aesthetically amazing! I made it with Kate’s vegan sour cream recipe and it was great! Your food blog recipes are my go-to, thank you so much for your attention to creativity and nutrition. :)
Do you peel the beets prior to roasting? Or do you eat the beet skin?
Hi! No need to peel, just scrub well. You can peel if you like, though.
I tweaked this to accommodate what I had on hand, and to use a bunch of beets from our weekly farm box. If I could give it 100 stars, I would! I roasted the beets and shallots until they were almost charcoal and thought I had ruined them until I tasted a piece. Wow! I had no labneh or yogurt, and used cilantro instead of mint, and a bit of my own homemade viniagrette from the big jar I stash in the the fridge. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS I had to summon my better nature to share it with my husband. We had it alongside the mushroom brown rice risotto, which also gets a rave review. I’ve requested two bunches of beets in next week’s farm box!
Yum – I will admit I combined this with your Colourful Beet Salad recipe… I could only get red beets, so I substituted orange for roasted heirloom tomatoes (they were on special), and added lentils and spinach since this is my lunch this week.
I never knew strained yoghurt = labneh :-)
I like your creativity! Thank you for sharing, Heather.
The beets just came out of the garden and are roasting beautifully. I’m sure this will be delicious as virtually ALL your recipes are!! You are my food inspiration. I always check your site first. Thank you so much for improving the experience of cooking for so many!!
So delicious! I was out of shallots to used some regular white onion cut into chunks to roast with the beets. Still delicious! I will definitely be making this again!
Thank you for this delicious recipe! I put my beets over spinach and arugula mix and topped it with grilled salmon. Definitely adding this to our dinner rotation!
Wow!!! Felt like we were eating this at our favorite restaurant. Loved this! I will serve whenever parties are a thing again ;)
My husband is Lebanese, so we always have labne on hand. We get it at the Armenian market, they also have it at our local produce market.
Also want to say that I got your cookbook a couple of weeks ago after reading Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defense of Food’ and have loved everything so far! My picky family is finally embracing their veggies! Thank you!
This is an amazing dish. ! love everything about it! The dressing, the mix of fresh herbs, the beets – yum! Thank you so much
(vegetarian since 1986)
This was absolutely FANTASTIC! Everyone who loves beets loved it. The basil pesto/dressing added a wonderful unexpected flavour to the dish. While I didn’t find labneh (admittedly, I didn’t look very hard), I used 4% Greek yogurt and it was wonderful.
Great! Thank you for your review, Lynn.
I LOVE anything with beets so this salad caught my eye. I was not disappointed. I was a little nervous about the red pepper flakes (because I am wimp) but it was not too bad and I think it made it better. Thank you for this one! ;)
You’re welcome, Griff!