As a child I considered beets to be incredibly deceptive. The color of my mother’s Rote Beete Salat looked like garnets, and edible jewels should taste of magic. But instead, German Beet Salad tasted like, well… beets. Still, like I always told my kids, when you grow up, your tongue changes, and things that you once ran from now taste delicious. (My mother finds it hilarious that I not only serve and enjoy beet salad, I make it from scratch.)
German Beet Salad falls into that category of German dishes that we call salad, but really it feels like a loose interpretation of the word. The salad is made up of beets… cooked, tossed in a dressing/marinade while warm, then served cold. They taste as if they’ve been lightly pickled. You can eat them alone (I caught my Tech Guy eating it straight from the storage container) or serve it alongside a green salad with other German salads, as part of a Salatteller. (You can even toss them into a Herring Salad or Labskaus… You’ll find the recipe for those dishes in my Easy German Cookbook: 80 Classic Recipes made Simple)
One warning. Cooking beets and peeling beets makes what my Oma always called, a Schweinerei! Beets stain and make a mess. Wear an apron to save your clothes. I wear gloves when I’m peeling and slicing them. Wash down your cutting boards right away so the juice doesn’t set.
Or just use the Golden ones.
The salad keeps in the refrigerator for a week (if you don’t have someone eating all of it straight out of the container).
German Beet Salad - Rote Beete Salat
- 1 lb. about 3 medium-large Red Beets
- 1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- optional- 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
- Trim the top of the beet (reserve the greens for other uses if you like). Trim the dangly root from the bottom. Wash the beets, scrub with a brush to remove any extra dirt.
- Place the beets in a medium saucepan or pot. Add water to 1 inch over the top of the beet. Add a tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook the beets until they are soft enough that a paring knife slides in fairly easily. I find it takes around 20 minutes. This depends on the size of the beets.
- Make the dressing while the beets are cooking.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and caraway if you are using it. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside.
- When the beets are soft enough, drain in a colander, and rinse with cool water. Put on gloves! When they are cooled enough to handle (but still warm!) use a paring knife to peel off the skin. It should come off easily (you may even be able to rub it off.)
- (You can cut the beets however you like, but this is how I do it.)
- Slice the beets in half, then slice into ¼ inch half rounds. Rotate the beet 90 degrees, and cut again into ¼ inch segments. You will end up with little rectangles. Drop the cut slices immediately into the mixing bowl with the dressing.
- Toss to coat completely. Then toss occasionally while it’s cooling. Refrigerate for up to a week. Serve cold.
Fun Facts About Beets
In case you need to convince someone to try them. Reading these, you’d think that Beets are Nature’s Superfood!
-Every part of the beet is edible, from leaves to tip of the root
-Beets contain Vitamins A,C, and K, as well as a handful of healthy minerals
-Beets contain loads of anti-oxidents
-Best of all -Beets are loaded with fiber (and a clean colon is a healthy colon)
See how German Beet Salad is Made
Trim off the greens and the long root (if there is one).
Scrub the beets to clean them
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
Cook the beets until a knife can be inserted fairly easily
They will look like this.
Peel the Beets… I use a knife, but you might even be able to slide the skin off.
Trim away the stem end
Cut the beets in half… slice into 1/4 inch half rounds
Then slice the half rounds to rectangles.
Toss into the waiting dressing
Let cool, toss occasionally…. serve
Store in a sealed container for a week
I love these glass rectangle containers.
They stack well, so I can store multiple salads without using up too much space
Find them HERE
Find more delicious Recipes in my Easy German Cookbook!