Vinegret is a fabulous Ukrainian beet salad with cooked carrots, potatoes, peas and gherkins (aka pickles). It’s commonly made over winter but is equally tasty in the summer. This filling salad is gluten-free, paleo, vegan and Whole30-friendly.
For this vinegret salad recipe, we travel back in time to the Soviet era and my homeland of Ukraine where it originated. It might have been Russia but nobody really knows where it really came from – as when the republics united the cuisine lines blurred over time.
What I know is that when winter came and fresh vegetables became scarce, this root vegetable salad often made an appearance on our table, especially on special occasions accompanied by herring, rye bread and ice-cold vodka. I think it was so popular because the colours and flavours reminded everyone of summer and because it used cheap accessible ingredients.
I wouldn’t call my vinegret recipe ‘an adaptation’ or ‘slightly modified’ because it’s as close to the real thing as I remember in my mind. I don’t know who invented this salad so I am going to credit my grandmother because she made the best vinegret of them all. Enjoy it in winter and in summer because it’s delicious and easy to make!
Vinegret Salad Ingredients
Root vegetables: white potatoes, whole beets and carrots are the main root vegetables in the vinegret salad. These are cooked in skin, then cooled, peeled and diced.
Fun bits: pickles (or gherkins) add sweetness, tang and crunch and are essential in this salad; onion adds a little sharpness and you can use red or white here, even green onion will work; finally, dill is for freshness but can be omitted if you don’t have any. I personally love using it here. Green peas for colour, texture and a little plant-based protein. Traditional Ukrainian recipe uses canned peas as that was the most common to get peas in winter. Oftentimes, white beans are also used but I left them out.
Dressing: a super simple mustard vinegar dressing will coat everything with a gorgeous tangy flavour, it’s a little similar to a German potato salad dressing. I have also seen some vinegret recipes using mayonnaise for a creamy version.
This salad is a little nutrition gem! You will get the benefits of gut-friendly fibre and resistant starch in the root vegetables, and all the vitamins and antioxidants of rainbow-coloured foods. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and Whole30-friendly, so it’s a bit of a crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s relatively low in calories with under 400 calories per serving.
Macros per serving: 325 calories, 44.4 grams carbs, 9 grams fibre (35 g net carbs), 14 g fat, 6.5 g protein.
Note On Using White Potatoes
If you’re following a paleo diet you might be wondering if the white potatoes are okay to use. I have a whole article titled ‘Are White Potatoes Paleo?’ but in a nutshell here is what you need to know.
White potato is real food! It’s a vegetable that is actually quite nutritious. However, it’s nightshade and contains some compounds that can cause an inflammatory response, especially in those with an autoimmune condition. But did you know that most of those compounds are located in the skin of the potato? So, if you peel the potatoes before cooking, that amount is drastically reduced.
Yes, the potato has a high glycemic index and is high in carbs, however, it’s also one of the best sources of resistant starch, especially when cooled after cooking. It’s a type of fibre highly beneficial to our gut health.
One of the ways to decrease the GI (quite dramatically) is to serve white potato with some healthy fat and fibrous veggies, and with something acidic, like a dressing. This slows down the glucose absorption in the blood. If you serve the potatoes cooked and cold or reheated, that’s even healthier.
So, this salad is really the best way to enjoy the humble white potato. White potato is even allowed in the Whole30 program.
More Recipes With Beets
- Ukrainian Beet Borscht Soup
- Roasted Beets With Mustard & Shallot Vinaigrette
- Beetroot Avocado & Edamame Salad
- Cauliflower Couscous With Beets & Hazelnuts
- Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake With Beets (No Added Colours)
How To Make Vinegret
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions and extra cooking notes below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.
Gorgeous and colourful Vinegret is a Ukrainian beet salad made with cooked root vegetables, dill, pickles and olive oil vinegar dressing. It’s full of gut-friendly resistance starch and vitamins. Serve as a side or as a main.
- 2 large raw beetroots/beets
- 2 large white potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 large dill pickled cucumbers (gherkins), finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 medium Spanish/red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
For the dressing
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook the beets, potatoes, and carrots for 20-30 minutes. Remove carrots at a 20-minute mark as they take less time to cook.
- Rinse all cooked vegetables under cold water and leave them to cool for at least an hour (this can be done ahead of time). Then peel off the skin (suggest wearing gloves when doing the beets or peel under running tap water).
- Combine the gherkins, dill and onion in a large salad bowl with the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and cook the peas for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Once cooled down, dice the potatoes, beetroot and carrot into small cubes. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and the dressing in the bowl. Serve on its own or as a side dish with meat, chicken or fish.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 325
- Sugar: 10.1 g
- Sodium: 1287.9 mg
- Fat: 14.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 44.4 g
- Fiber: 9.1 g
- Protein: 6.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Beets, Beetroot, Potatoes, Carrots, Salad Recipes, Ukrainian Recipes, Gluten-Free, Whole30, Vegan