Tiny sweet red beets and vibrant orange young carrots — each with a shock of fresh greens — are among spring's most colorful arrivals. This salad makes the best of both, combining marinated beets, quick-roasted carrots, and tangy beet greens. A creamy ranch-style dressing made with Greek yogurt, green onions, and herbs brings it all together for a salad that's both fresh and hearty.
Marinated beets are one of my go-to preparations. Cooking them with their skins on saves the difficulty and mess of peeling raw beets, and is a great way to cook up even large batches with minimal fuss. Once the beets have cooked through, the skin comes off easily under cold running water either with fingertips or very quickly with a peeler.
This recipe was developed with fresh baby beets (about 1-inch thick) and slender young carrots (about 1/2-inch thick). Although cooking times will vary, the recipe can be adapted for use with any size fresh produce. Keep in mind that carrots and beets divorced from their greens tend to be older with a denser texture and far sweeter flesh — if possible, opt for fresh.
Marinated Baby Beet and Carrot Salad with Herbed Yogurt Ranch
1 to 2 tablespoons water
For the salad:
1 pound baby beets with greens (about 1-inch thick)
1 pound slender young carrots with greens (about 1/2-inch thick)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon minced parsley
To make the dressing, whisk to combine green onion, garlic, and lemon zest and juice, onion and garlic powder, and sea salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside to marinate for a few minutes. Fold in Greek yogurt, followed by the fresh herbs. Taste and add sea salt as needed. Cover and set in fridge to chill. Just before serving, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin dressing as needed.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Trim all but 1/4-inch of beet and carrot greens (reserve beet greens), and thoroughly scrub vegetables.
Set unpeeled beets in a small, 2-inch-deep baking pan. Add 1/2 inch of cold water and cover tightly with foil. Slide into oven and roast until beets are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Take care to avoid the hot steam plume when checking beets. Halve carrots and cut on the bias into 4-inch spears. Toss with olive oil and a pinch each sea salt and pepper. Scatter on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into oven to roast alongside beets 10 to 15 minutes, or until carrots just begin to curl up and the edges turn golden.
While vegetables cook, rinse and dry beet greens, and arrange leaves on a serving platter.
Uncover beets, drain hot water, and set beets aside until cool enough to handle. Slice off beet tops and remove skin under cold running water, either with fingertips or a peeler. (Skin will come off very easily.) Quarter beets and sprinkle with sea salt.