Zalatat shuwander (beet salad)

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This lovely salad is another recipe from my latest toy, the marvellous Iraqi cookbook-and-more, Delights from the Garden of Eden, by Nawal Nasrallah.

But really, it could just as easily come from any of my Italian cookbooks.

The simplicity of the seasonings lets the earthy flavour of the beets be the hero.

Nawal lists yogurt or sour cream as a garnish, but I reckon if you want to use either of them it’d be better done at table – that way leftovers will retain their dark colouring and not become a compromised pink!


3 mediums beets

extra virgin olive oil

juice of one lemon





1. Pre-heat over to 225C.

2. Wash beets but don’t trim.

3. Wrap beets well in foil and put in oven for an hour.

4. Let cool.

5. Peel beets by hand or using a peeler or knife. If you’re a little fussy about getting your hands dyed, use rubber gloves.

6. Dice beets into small cubes.

7. Toss with remaining ingredients.

8. Refrigerate for at least half an hour before eating.

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