Beet Salad with Tehina Sauce and Fresh Herbs

June 15, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 4 cups
Author Notes

This beet salad comes from Michael Solomonov’s cookbook Zahav (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). It's one of the best cold salads I've ever had—earthy from the salt-crusted, roasted beets, lemony and rich from the tehina sauce, and bright from the fresh herbs. There's a recipe within a recipe here: you'll get extra tehina sauce to use later (trust me, that's a good thing). —Samantha Weiss Hills

What You'll Need
  • 5 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 8 medium beets
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup (or more) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup excellent quality tahini a.k.a. tehina—Chef Michael Solomonov loves Soom Foods, available on Amazon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread 1 cup of the salt in an ovenproof skillet or baking dish. Put the beets on the salt and cover with the remaining 4 cups salt. Bake until the beets are tender, about 90 minutes. Note: For this portion of the salt, I use coarse salt. For the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons, I use fine kosher salt.
  2. While you're waiting, make the tehina sauce. Process the garlic, 1/3 cup of the lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until coarsely puréed; let sit 10 minutes to allow garlic to mellow. Strain the garlic mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible. Return liquid to food processor; discard solids. Add tahini and pulse to combine. Add cumin if you like. With motor running, add 1/4 cup ice water by the tablespoonful and process (it may seize up at first) until mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick.
  3. Peel and grate the cooled beets into a mixing bowl using the course holes of a box grater. Add 1/2 cup of the tehina sauce (you’ll have a lot leftover to use at a later time), oil, lemon juice, dill, and mint and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well to blend. Top with more chopped dill and mint and serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Beth Brenner Rose
    Beth Brenner Rose
  • Betsy Karpenkopf
    Betsy Karpenkopf
  • Kathy
  • deanna1001
  • tastysweet

21 Reviews

pepina April 28, 2020
Thanks for a wonderful recipe. Made it yesterday - with a few shortcuts (using parboiled beets and no dill but a little fresh parsley instead) - and it was so delicious! Leftovers were great for lunch the day after.
Beth B. January 4, 2017
How long would you say it's safe to keep this in the frig after making? Thanks so much for this recipe!
Samantha W. January 5, 2017
Hi Beth, I'd say it's best served immediately or the next day. I made this a day ahead of time for my Passover last year and it was delicious!
Beth B. January 5, 2017
Okay! Thank you! I guess I'll be eating it for dinner then! Realllllllyyyyy love this recipe - as did my family.
Maria I. April 28, 2020
This recipe is so good and makes a large amount so I usually share it with family and friends but when I can't, I've kept mine for about a week/week and a half and it's totally fine. I've made this many, many times and have also stored it that long many, many times.
Maria I. July 10, 2016
The recipe calls for 2/3 cup tahini for the tehina but the video says 2 cups. Which is the correct amount?
Betsy K. June 28, 2016
This was terrific. I stuck to the basic idea but did use other herbs, relying on what was in the garden (mint, parsley and thyme). Will most definitely make this salad again. I also did not salt roast the beets; I just roasted them as I usually do, in aluminum foil.
Jenny June 25, 2016
Thanks, I love Michael Solomonov's tahini! I'm guessing it's not necessary to peel the beets after baking?
Samantha W. June 25, 2016
Yes! Peel them before grating.
Kathy June 24, 2016
How about putting a link on the reference to the tehina? I can't find the recipe.
Samantha W. June 25, 2016
Kathy, I've adjusted the recipe above to reflect the full tehina sauce recipe! I agree that it's easier to read this way.
deanna1001 June 24, 2016
I make salt crusted fingerling potatoes a lot and always keep the salt for next a ziplock labeled properly. I add rosemary to the salt too...try it. You lose some salt every time but easy enough to add. If it starts getting off colored, I pitch it, but usually get 3-4 rounds with it. I use Morton's kosher salt.
Yonder17 June 24, 2016
In the video, you add cumin, but the recipe says to skip it. Can you clarify?
Samantha W. June 24, 2016
Sure, I think it's a matter of taste. I could have been clearer on that! I'll make an adjustment to the recipe.
tastysweet June 24, 2016
Not sure if my comment posted. Just in case:
It would be easier to read the whole recipe with the sauce, deleting the caveats on one page, without having to go to another site to read. Thanks.
I love beets and would love to try this.
Samantha W. June 25, 2016
Tastysweet, I've adjusted the recipe above to reflect the full tehina sauce recipe! I agree that it's easier to read this way.
tastysweet June 25, 2016
Much thanks Samantha
amandainmd June 24, 2016
can you reuse the salt for something? or are you throwing out 5 cups of salt?
Samantha W. June 24, 2016
Great question! Hypothetically, since salt is used to preserve and sterilize, you'd definitely be able to use it again to salt-crust and bake. What you might be more worried about is off-flavors depending on what you are salt-crusting.
amandainmd June 24, 2016
Kind of like saving oil for deep frying, it sounds like. One of the things that has held me off of salt crusting was the idea of throwing out all that salt - I'll give it a try and just set it aside from the regular salt. Thanks!
Samantha W. June 24, 2016
Thanks for asking, amandainmd! I'm going to dig deeper on this subject; stay tuned for something more in-depth.