Russian Language Blog

Russian Recipe: Beet Salad with Garlic and Walnuts Posted by on Nov 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

When we talk about Russian cuisine, the same dishes keep coming up—Olivier salad, borsch{t} (arguably of Ukrainian provenance), pelmeni, etc. This time, let’s make a lesser-known—but delicious!—dish popular in Russia: a beet salad.

You may remember that beets (свёкла) feature in some other Russian dishes, such as the already mentioned borsch, vinegret, and “herring under a coat.” To make this post more hands-on, I will actually make the beet salad! As you will see from my directions, I don’t tend to measure things out very precisely or time them. If you are a more accomplished chef, please share your tips on how you make this salad!

raw beets

Raw beets
Image provided by the author


There is a basic list of ingredients that you need, and then there are “extras,” which may vary from recipe to recipe.

  • свёкла — 2 шт. (beets — 2; I used 3)
  • гре́цкие оре́хи — 100 гр (walnuts — 100 grams; I never actually measure this out)
  • чесно́к — 2-3 зу́бчика (2–3 cloves of garlic)
  • майоне́з — 1 ст. ложка (1 tbsp mayo)
  • соль и пе́рец по вку́су (salt and pepper to taste; I don’t tend to use any)

Image provided by the author

The “extras” or variations may include:

  • черносли́в (prunes)
  • изю́м (raisins)

If you use them, just mix them into the salad along with the walnuts and garlic.

boiling beets

Boiling beets
Image provided by the author


  1. Свёклу отвари́ть, остуди́ть и очи́стить. (Boil, chill, and peel the beets — I don’t actually time this step but check when a knife goes into the beets effortlessly to know when they’re ready. Once they cool down, it’s very easy to peel off the skin.)
  2. Натере́ть свёклу. (Grate the beets.)
grated beets

Grated beets
Image provided by the author

  1. Ме́лко натере́ть чесно́к. (Finely grate the garlic.)
  2. Доба́вить соль и пе́рец по вку́су. (Add salt and pepper to taste.)
  3. Сала́т запра́вить майоне́зом и перемеша́ть. (Add mayonnaise and mix.)

Voilà! Our salad is ready. Just let it chill and serve. What I love about this salad is how easy it is to make and how it combines sweet and spicy flavo(u)rs.

beet salad

Beet salad
Image provided by the author

Give it a try and tell me how you like it! Or share your own recipe.

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.