Crushed Beets with Chunky Olive & Mint Dressing

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 13 votes

Crushed beets with chunky olive & mint dressing is a mega flavourful side dish that fits any season. Easy to make and only 10 ingredients.

An overhead shot of a crushed beets salad with chunky olive dressing, mint, and avocado. The salad is on a matte black plate on top of a pink and purple tie-dyed linen.
An up close, overhead shot of a crushed beets salad with chunky olive dressing, mint, and avocado. The salad is on a matte black plate. A vintage silver serving utensil has removed some of the salad.
An overhead shot of two bunches of beets with greens on a white background. The lighting is soft and natural.
An overhead shot of Castelvetrano olives that. Have been crushed on a worn wood cutting board. A knife and the jar of olives are to the side.

I tend to prepare vegetables in the same routine ways. Once we get deep into winter, I’m looking to add some excitement to my usual rotation of roots and cruciferous vegetables. I might use a different cooking method or flavour combination than what I’m used to. That’s how I came up with these crushed beets with chunky olive and mint dressing!

I told myself to not use “chunky” in the recipe title, but it is really descriptive here! Nice big bits of olives, shallots, and capers mingle with fresh mint and peppery parsley. They all settle into the craggy edges and crevices of the crushed beets. The final dish looks so pretty and is relatively easy to make. We also got this one within ten ingredients!

I did not invent this beet crushing technique! I first saw it on Food & Wine’s website. I generally boil beets as part of some light dinner prep for the week. With this method, you boil them a bit longer to soften them a touch more. Then you flatten them with the bottom of a bowl or a glass. Then I roast all of the little craggy and jagged bits in olive oil, salt, and pepper. The end result is slightly crusty edges and a nice textural contrast for our vinaigrette.

More Beet Recipes!:

Hope you give this recipe a try if you’re looking to mix up your winter vegetable routine! This is around the time of year when I start seeing spring-y things happening on the feeds of people I follow on the west coast, and it just reminds me of how much further we have to go in Ontario hehe. Until we get there, more beets! :)

An overhead shot of a chunky olive, caper, and shallot dressing before it is whisked together. The ingredients are in a shallow, white milk glass bowl.
An overhead shot of cooked beets that have been “crushed” on a cutting board.
An overhead shot of a crushed beets salad with chunky olive dressing, mint, and avocado. The salad is on a matte black plate on top of a pink and purple tie-dyed linen.

Crushed Beets with Chunky Olive Dressing & Mint

Crushed beets with chunky olive dressing is a mega flavourful side dish that’s beautiful in all seasons.
5 from 13 votes
An up close, overhead shot of a crushed beets salad with chunky olive dressing, mint, and avocado. The salad is on a matte black plate. A vintage silver serving utensil has removed some of the salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 6 medium beets (about 800 grams)
  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, sliced paper thin
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado

Notes

  • You can use those pre-cooked and wrapped beets that you sometimes find at the grocery store. They’re usually soft enough to “crush” right out of the package. My only tip is to let them come to room temperature first.
  • Any type of pitted olive that you like works in this recipe!
  • No need to salt the dressing at all! I know I’m usually very clear about good seasoning, but olives and capers make it salty enough.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the beets in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the beets to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes. Take the beets out of the water with tongs and let them cool a bit on a cutting board.
  • Once cool enough to handle, slip the skins off of the beets. Then, transfer the beets to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using the bottom of a wide bowl or jar, gently crush the beets until they break off into craggy fragments. The pieces will be all different shapes and sizes and this is okay! Spread the pieces out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the crushed beets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the beets with salt and pepper. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 20 minutes, or until the beets have dried out a tiny bit on the surface.
  • While beets are roasting, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the olives, shallot, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, and some ground black pepper. Use a fork to “whisk” and mix it up. Set aside.
  • Transfer the roasted and crushed beets to your serving platter, placing them in one layer.
  • Peel, pit, and dice the avocado, and the scatter the diced pieces evenly over the beets. Quickly stir the mint and parsley leaves into the dressing, and then spoon the dressing over the crushed beets and avocado. Serve immediately!
An overhead, slightly angled shot of a crushed beets salad with chunky olive dressing, mint, and avocado. The salad is on a matte black plate on top of a pink and purple tie-dyed linen.
10/02/2021 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, holidays, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salad, salty, side dish, sour, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

20 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Anne

    5 stars
    I crushed the beets in a lemon squeezer!

    • Laura Wright

      Anne,
      This is so smart! Thank you for sharing this tip.
      -L

  • Anne

    5 stars
    This was really good, very tasty. I used the pre roasted beets and did not roast them to dry out.

  • Anna

    I see in the notes it’s says you can use pre-cooked, wrapped beets. Would you recommend still do the oven roasting step to dry them out in that case or go straight to dressing them?

    • Laura

      Hi Anna!
      I recommend proceeding with the oven roasting step to dry them out a bit and to get those craggy edges!
      -L

  • Danielle

    Hmm, Ive never thought of beets and mint together… so intriguing! I’m sure its wonderful.

  • Lisa

    5 stars
    I love everything about this recipe!  All the flavours come together so well!  So delicious!  

  • Clare

    5 stars
    This is such an amazing recipe. The flavours are so mouthwatering together. I have made this almost every week since I came across the recipe. One of your top salads for sure! 

    • Laura

      I’m so glad that you’re loving it, Clare! Just something about beets, mint and salty olives together :)
      -L

  • Kate

    5 stars
    This is delicious!  I only had a few beets, so added some steamed broccoli and it turned out great.  I also used dill instead of mint.  Will definitely make again!

  • Smad

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe, loved the flavours so much. I did find that boiling the beets for 30 minutes didn’t make them soft enough for the peel to come off easily (I had to use a peeler) and they didn’t crush easily, so maybe depending on the variety of beets (I had chioggia) the cooking time should be extended.. I probably should’ve tested them with a knife before removing them all from the pot. Anyways, the combination of textures and flavours really works wonderfully.

  • Sheila

    5 stars
    I am obsessed with this salad, it is SO good and on regular rotation!!!

  • Cassie O'Brien

    You are a genius! This is so delicious! Love the flavor combos and good way for me to get the beets in. Wasn’t sure if this is intended to be a warm dish or not. I made it the night before and heated the beets before putting the dressing and avocado on top and it was really good regardless. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Dhivya

    5 stars
    I loved this salad, it is so wonderful and satiating. The addition of olives and capers makes this so moreish. Will be making again

  • Jennifer Mellors

    I added some pistachios and this was so so so delicious!

  • Sabrina

    5 stars
    love beets, they’re unfairly ignored as ingredients in salads, so really appreciate this recipe, love the avo paring, thank you!

  • MG

    5 stars
    Absolutely yummy! Textures and flavors compliment so well. Thank you!

  • Mallory

    5 stars
    Had big fun crushing the first two beets by sending them flying across the kitchen! Halving them and breaking them up with the bottom of a large bowl was a solution. Love the idea of creating all that surface area on the beets. Used preserved lemon to great effect. Thanks for a creative recipe and teaching this old beet eating dog a new trick!

  • Lisette

    5 stars
    Yummie, this was so good! I used calamata olives, added roasted pistachios and served it with quinoa. We all loved it. Thank you very much Laura!

  • Bernadette

    This looks and sounds so yummy!!!!