Beetroot and nasturtium salad

Rödbetor och krasseblommor sallad

Beetroot salad with nasturtiums

Beetroots are one of the most popular salad ingredients in Sweden, but the addition of nasturtium flowers makes the salad more colourful and usually creates a good talking point. Although nasturtiums are the most common type of all the edible flowers in Sweden it is still fairly unusual to see them in salads.

You can occasionally buy nasturtium flowers at some greengrocers, but generally it is better to grow your own. Fortunately, they are fairly easy to grow from seed and plant out when there is no risk of frost. Nasturtiums prefer a poor but moist soil with partial shade as that appears to help protect them from blackfly. They bloom about a month after planting and continue flowering for about 10 weeks so keen nasturtium growers sow them in succession to ensure a steady supply.

Nasturtiums are so pretty they are best used in a layer salad, with the flowers forming the top layer: the icing on the cake, so to speak. Also, this helps to avoid the beetroot staining the flowers. John Duxbury


Recipe summary for beetroot and nasturtium salad


1 handful of young nasturtium leaves, between 10 and 20
1 small/medium sized red leafed lettuce, such as a Lollo Rosso
2 medium size beetroots (beets), about 75 g (3 oz) each
12 whole nasturtium flowers, stems removed
  coarse seat salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


4 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Scatter the nasturtium leaves round a deep salad bowl.

2. Add some of the lettuce leaves, roughly torn by hand, and then season lightly with salt.

3. Slice one of the beetroots very thinly and lay on top of the lettuce leaves, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Add another layer of salad leaves, again roughly torn by hand, seasoning lightly with salt.

5. Slice the remaining beetroot very thinly and lay on top of the lettuce, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.

6. Add a final layer of roughly torn lettuce leaves and then decorate with the nasturtium flowers.

7. Just before serving, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and pour some over the salad and toss to evenly coat (you might not need all the dressing).


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John Duxbury
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