Inspired on a traditional beetroot salad I was served on the Greek Island of Tinos, this easy beet salad is served with a garlicky labneh oregano tzatziki and a generous helping of steamed beet greens.
This pretty purple, green and white salad is easy to make in advance. Just prepare it ahead of time and throw it together when you are ready to eat. Ideal for picnics, BBQ, grilling and potlucks. Naturally gluten free. Recipe includes hints and tips to make preparation even easier. Naturally vegetarian, gluten free and keto friendly.
A Taste of Tinos
As I say so many times, that to know another person and their culture, you must dine at their table. I love to travel, eat as widely and as variedly as I can. It gives me the chance to bring ideas and ingredients home to cook, and adapt in my own kitchen.
I ate this simple easy beet salad served with a bed of greens and garlic labneh oregano tzatziki on the Cycladian Island of Tinos, which is undergoing a serious foodie renaissance thanks to the islanders working to together to create Tinos Food Paths the annual spring celebration of the island’s culinary heritage.
Learn more about the amazing food of Tinos.
This easy beet salad with beet greens and yogurt – Patzarosalata me Yiaourti – was served for a buffet lunch in a dovecote in a newly restored vineyard. (Local wine making is having a revival with new winemakers bringing their knowledge to the island.) The original dish was a simple platter of cooked beetroot leaves, topped with thick garlicky Greek yogurt and surrounded with slices of cooked beetroot. So simple, but very delicious.
Back in London I could not find beetroot with sufficiently fresh leaves, or a Greek yogurt that was thick and creamy enough. I’ve swapped chard for the beet leaves, and strained the yogurt to make a labneh.
How to Make a Greek Beet Salad with Labneh & Greens (Patzarosalata me Yiaourti)
Step 1 – Gather your ingredients – beetroot (ideally with leaves), chard, oregano and labneh. If you cannot find raw beetroot with leaves, my favourite cheat ingredient is the cooked beetroot you can buy in sealed long-life packets. You do not want pickled beets!
Step 2 – Lightly steam the beet greens or chard until wilted, I usually cook leafy vegetables in a microwave steamer. Once cooked squeeze well to remove all the water. Then arrange on a plate surrounded by the sliced cooked beetroot.
Step 3 – When ready to serve, stir the grated cucumber, chopped oregano and garlic through the labneh and set it on top. Then drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper and fresh oregano.
And voila! The finished dish!
Of course, this is never going to be truly authentic. I’ve used chard in place of the beetroot greens and regular Greek olive oil. The oregano for sale in a British supermarket is also a far cry from the intense fragrant herb which grows on Tinos.
I think that the thick and creamy homemade labneh is a good substitute for the local Greek yogurt, so give it a try. This is certainly a dish to repeat over the summer months.
Adaptations to Easy Beet Salad with Labneh and Greens
- Make it vegan, by using a strained dairy free yogurt.
- Make this as a roasted beet salad.
- Use different greens such as cavolo nero and serve warm.
For more Greek inspiration, my Greek salad pasta is ready in 15 minutes and is perfect for a quick and easy mid week dinner.
Beet Salad with Labneh & Greens (Patzarosalata me Yiaourti)
This pretty purple, green and white salad is easy to make in advance and prepare when you are ready to eat. Ideal for picnics, BBQ, grilling and potlucks. Naturally gluten free. Recipe includes hints and tips to make preparation even easier. Naturally Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Keto Friendly.
- 300 g beetroot (Ideally uncooked, with leaves)
- 1 handful chard
- 300 g labneh
- 1 tbsp oregano (fresh)
- 1 clove garlic
- cucumber (grated)
- 2 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the leaves off the beetroot, then peel and steam the beetroot until soft and cooked. This will take about 30 minutes. If possible, do this ahead of time and allow to cool. Keep the leaves and add them to the chard.
- Slice, and steam the chard and beet greens until wilted. This will only take a couple of minutes, and can be done in a microwave. Once cooked, squeeze out all the water.
- Slice the beetroot and arrange in a circle on a plate. Add the chard and beetroot leaves to the centre of the circle.
- Stir oregano, garlic and cucumber through the labneh. Top the greens with the labneh mixture, and drizzle over olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper
- If raw beetroot isn't available, you can substitute precooked (but not pickled) beetroot.
- If you're using precooked beetroot, use more chard to substitute for the beet leaves.
- To make it Whole 30 and Paleo omit the cheese
- This recipe is 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion