Swap In Beets For An Easy Yet Indulgent Vegetarian Take On Beef Tartare

Beets don't always get the credit they're due. While they are often slipped into juice, roasted alongside root vegetables, or even candied as a salad topping, beets rarely seem to have their own moment to shine. In a vegetarian take on beef tartare, however, this under-appreciated earthy root becomes the focal point. 

Beetroot tartare offers a visually stunning, palate-pleasing alternative to the classic meat-based dish. The natural sweetness, earthy undertones, and meaty texture make it the perfect swap for beef in tartare. While the versatility and deliciousness of this unassuming root vegetable make for an unusual take on tartare, it's also worth noting that it can be used to make not only a vegetarian-friendly version, but with additional ingredient swaps, such as mayonnaise for vegan mayo, it can easily become a vegan plate too. But the secret to an impressive vegetable-forward take on this dish lies in the careful preparation of this jewel-toned vegetable.

How to prepare beet tartare

While you can use prepared beets, you can also start with fresh, raw beets. Begin by scrubbing them clean, trimming the tops, and then wrapping them individually in foil. Roast them until a knife easily pierces the flesh. Let them cool, and then peel them. This roasting process accentuates the beet's natural sugars and infuses them with a subtle smokiness, elevating their flavor to a whole new level.

Next, grate or finely dice the roasted beets with a chef's precision. You'll be amazed by the beet's striking resemblance to traditional tartare's raw beef, both in appearance and texture. In a bowl, combine the diced beetroot with the other ingredients your recipe calls for such as finely chopped capers, red onion, or fresh parsley. Season as you like with spices and wet ingredients as your recipe dictates. For a luscious, creamy texture, mix in a spoonful of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt. Not only does this mimic the richness of traditional tartare, but it also binds the ingredients together beautifully. Again, you can opt for vegan mayo should you choose. Finally, serve your beet tartare with a side of crisp, golden-brown toast points or even pita chips. The vibrant colors and mouthwatering aroma will captivate your senses before the first bite.