Crushed beets with chunky olive & mint dressing is a mega flavourful side dish that fits any season. Easy to make and only 10 ingredients.
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!:
- Garden Keeper’s Pie with Beets, Lentils & Celery Root Mash
- Grounding Roasted Roots with Herbed Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce
- Hearty Mushroom & Beet Bolognese
- Hot Pink Beet Smoothie with Citrus
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! :)
Crushed Beets with Chunky Olive Dressing & Mint
- 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
- 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!
- 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.