Beetroot Salad with Juniper Berries



How is ‘beetroot’ different from a beet?  Not.


You’ve already heard me say what I’ve said for decades….beets are back.  They are back stronger than ever and people are asking for them—I even served a beet salad at a wedding last summer.  Don’t be afraid of your root vegetables.


I (not a Scandihoovian) was posed with cooking another ‘Norwegian’ dinner last April and I wanted intriguing flavors to share with the group….but not too interesting since most diners were in their 60’s and 70’s.  This salad combines some classic Scandinavian seasonings with the addition of juniper berries to give it a little sparkle.  Besides being the main flavor of gin (originally known as ‘jenever’, or juniper), juniper berries are often slow-cooked with rich meats like lamb, duck and wild game adding a bright resinous quality to the dish.




I soaked the berries overnight in aquavit (‘water of life’, a vodka-like spirit generally seasoned with dill, caraway or anise) to soften them, then crushed/chopped them before adding to the salad.  You can also place them in a bag and crush them with a hammer, but I wanted to add a little more flair to the affair.





The DISCLAIMER about Juniper Berries: not all juniper berries are edible!!  Please be positive you are eating the non-poisonous varieties before harvesting and wildcrafting…there are also many places to purchase them online.


Here is a little more about medicinal properties of the amazing juniper.




The idea here was to create the background flavors of pickled beets but not to overwhelm it with a heavy sweet-and-sour.  The salad can also be made with sour cream instead of mayonnaise, or with grapeseed oil if you don’t want to use dairy.


Beets can vary in flavor which will greatly affect the salad.  Once I made this salad using beets that had been stored all winter, there was less natural savor from the beets than I was expecting so I had to bump up the seasonings to compensate.


Enjoy the colors!



Beetroot Salad with Juniper Berries

Cook Time: 30 minutes for beets, a few hours to soak the juniper berries

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes to marinate


Soak for a few hours in aquavit, vodka, or hot water, then chop:

Juniper Berries



Mix together in a bowl:

4 cups Cooked Beets, peeled and diced

1 cup Celery, diced

1 small Apple, diced

4 Green Onions, chopped

3-4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Whipping Cream

1 teaspoon Juniper Berries, soaked then chopped (or start with the smaller amount)

1-4 teaspoons Sugar or Honey (depending on the beets)

1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1/8 teaspoon Clove, ground

1/8 teaspoon Allspice, ground

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground or grated

1/2 (or more) teaspoons Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Let marinate 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.  The flavor and sweetness of beets can greatly vary. 

Garnish with:

Copious amounts of chopped Parsley



More beauties by potter Elisabeth MaurlandIMG_4778




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