Simple Carrot and Beet Salad


This is another dish that brings back memories of our travel days.  We took a three day ferry ride from Ancona in Italy to Cesme, Turkey.  This wasn’t much of a pleasure cruise.  Our cabin was big enough for a sink the size of a brick, a bunk bed and enough floor space for one of us to stand while the door was open (the other had to sit on the bed).  I have memories of the lounge at night, everyone dressed up and dancing to a combination of what I would describe as polka, moving frequently to pounding house music.  The days were quiet, I guess everyone was asleep after the festivities the night before.

The meals were cafeteria style.  Breakfast was an amazing lentil soup (which we would soon find out is a breakfast staple in Turkey) with bread, served with cucumbers, tomato and cheese.  This beautiful salad came in a bowl covered with plastic wrap with a lemon wedge on top.  I loved it so much that I looked forward to our ferry lunches, thinking about this bowl of delight.

The colour combination of orange and purple is happiness in a bowl.  This is a beautiful, quick and amazing side dish or light lunch.  We had ours with grilled salmon, and it was a perfect compliment. It is a great addition to a meal and can be zipped up in the food processor and on your table in about 5 minutes, in fact making it last minute is best as the carrots tend to become purple the longer the salad sits (which is fine obviously, but the colour contrast is part of the wow factor).  My version has granny smith apples, but they can easily be left out.  It is great with or without the apple.

Eating beets gives you a good dose of important antioxidants.  Beets are very high on the ORAC scale – a scale that measures the quantity and quality of antioxidant in a particular food.  Beets are also very cleansing for the blood and because of this they are considered to be excellent for the liver and detoxification pathways.  Eating one carrot gives you 200% of your daily requirement for Vitamin A.  Both beets and carrots are rich in minerals and vitamins, and are full of fibre.

Here’s the recipe… pretty simple:

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 small – medium beets or one large, peeled
  • One granny smith apple, unpeeled and sliced however you like
  • olive oil, about a tablespoon (I usually go with one good glug)
  • juice of half a lemon (or to taste, I like it more lemony)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh green onions, fresh chives, or fresh dill – all are great with this salad

Shred the carrots first, then the beets. Add the apple. Combine with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the fresh green herbs and enjoy.  Another nice way to serve it is to simply toss the beets, carrots and apples (if using), and serve in bowls with lemon wedges on the table, along with olive oil and S&P.