Raw Fall Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Dukkah

Prepare to be wowed. This salad takes humble carrots and beets and turns them completely on their heads in a way that is so tasty and unexpected.

Usually when we think of fall veggies, we think of Thanksgiving-esque preparations like roasting and big fall flavors like rosemary and cranberry. This salad is a surprising twist on beets and carrots because it keeps them raw and pairs them with a bright, lemony dressing. It's a great way to transition from summer to fall, when these gorgeous veggies are at their prime but you're not quite ready for roasted root veggies yet.

Raw beets may sound a little bizarre, but I promise it works! The key is slicing them very thinly (I like to use a mandoline) and bathing them in an acidic marinade to help them soften.

I've shown this salad with chioggia (a.k.a. candy cane) beets, which I absolutely love because of their amazing color. Yellow beets would work beautifully too, especially with red or purple carrots. Red beets would taste just as good, but they'll stain the carrots red too, so proceed at your own risk.

Pairing the earthy beets with sweet carrots, peppery arugula, and the really lemony marinade creates such interesting flavors.

However, the true star of this dish is a magical, crunchy topping. It's a (very) non-traditional version of dukkah, which is an Egyptian nut and spice blend. Dukkah is usually made with hazelnuts and sesame seeds and sometimes pistachios, and packed with flavor from spices like cumin and coriander. There are plenty of great recipes online and it adds such a fun, crunchy twist on top of salads, grilled veggies, and proteins. Check it out!

This dukkah is the same concept, but with a different flavor profile. It uses pistachios, sesame seeds, and lemon zest to bring complexity but also brightness to the fall veggies. Make a double batch and put it on everything!

Do you know what else would be divine here? Some crumbled goat cheese. Or (gasp!) goat cheese rolled in dukkah. Crispy roasted chick peas would also be lovely, and would take this from side dish to dinner. Conversely or additionally, this salad could happily sit atop a bed of a middle eastern grain like farro.

This salad requires a bit of prep time to slice the veggies and make the dukkah. But it's absolutely worth it, and will make a show-stopping side dish that can easily go from summer to fall. This salad would even be at home on your Thanksgiving table, where something bright and raw is a lovely addition to all the heavier classics.

Give this symphony of colors, flavors, and textures a try! You may never go back to boring roasted beets again. 

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram. 

Loving the idea of eye-catching centerpiece salads? Then check out this Loaded Mediterranean Salad, it's gorgeous and has some similar flavors.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Veggie Marinade
  • Juice of a lemon. Or maybe two lemons if they're not very juicy. Make sure all your veggie slices are generously coated. Zest it first, you'll need the zest later!
  • Splash of good olive oil
  • Splash of champagne vinegar. Or use red wine vinegar if that's what you have.
  • 1-2 tbsp honey. Or use agave for a vegan version.
  • Generous freshly ground salt and pepper
For the Salad
  • 6-8 beets. Chioggia, yellow, or a mix.
  • 2-4 carrots. Orange, red, purple, whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Few big handfuls of arugula
For the Dukkah
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 0.5 c roasted salted pistachios
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds. You can very quickly toast them yourself in a dry skillet if you prefer to buy raw.
  •  0.5 tsp thyme. I prefer to use dried thyme leaves here for their texture.
  • 0.25 tsp sea salt
  • Few grinds of black pepper
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed. Feel free to add additional sweetener and a splash more of olive oil if you don't love lemon as much as I do.
  2. Very carefully (use the hand guard!), slice the beets with a mandoline. Put them into the marinade as soon as you finish each beet to avoid browning.
  3. Peel the carrots. Then, using the peeler again, create long, thin carrot ribbons. Add the carrots to the marinade with the beets. Use tongs to move all the veggies around and ensure that all surfaces are coated with the marinade, otherwise the beets will turn brown.
  4. Let the beets and carrots sit for an hour or so.
  5. Put the dukkah ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse to bring them together. You want to create a loose crumble, not pistachio butter! Pulse it a couple times, then give it a look, and pulse again as needed, but be careful not to over-process.
  6. Just before serving, mix the arugula into your veggies and give everything a good toss.
  7. Lay out your veggies on a platter or in a bowl. Cover them with a good sprinkle of dukkah, then serve any extra dukkah on the side for additional sprinkling.


  1. This is a perfect dinner on a hot August evening when beets and carrots are plentiful in the garden. We added farro to make it a meal, the flavors are bright, fresh, delightful!

    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutAugust 10, 2020 at 6:40 AM

      Wow, the farro is a great idea! I bet the texture was a wonderful complement to the crisp veggies. And with beets and carrots right from the garden, this all seems so perfect! So glad you enjoyed it!


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