Smashed turnip and beet salad

Smashed turnip and beet salad.

An homage to pai huang gua (smashed cucumbers), this dish works as a side, but it’s also substantial enough to fly solo. Since winter is not peak season for cucumbers, I decided to substitute turnips and beets in the recipe. The salad gets its flavor from Sichuan chile crisp, a spicy infused oil, which is widely available at local Asian markets, and if you can find Hakurei turnips (Japanese salad turnips), I highly recommend using them here. Their delicate flavor and crisp texture resemble a mild radish, and they’re delicious raw.

Smashed turnip and beet salad

Serves | 4 to 6 |

  • 1 lb beets
  • 1 lb turnips, cleaned, large dice
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp chile crisp

| Preparation | Fill a small pot with water; bring water to a boil. Add beets; cook until knife-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove tender beets from water; peel and cut large dice. Place beets and turnips in a zip-close bag; gently smash with a rolling pin.

Transfer smashed vegetables to a bowl along with remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Set bowl in refrigerator; chill until cold, approximately 15 minutes. Serve.

Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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