Turmeric Golden Beet Salad Recipe

Try both variations of this cold salad, which lends itself to experimentation.

From “Fiery Ferments”
Spring 2018

  • Fiery Ferments
    With fermentation, you can acidify any combination of peppers, spices, herbs, and other vegetables to make chutneys, condiments, pickles, and more.
    Photo by Storey Publishing/Lara Ferroni
  • Fiery Ferments
    Fiery Ferments features a wide variety of pepper ferments that feature a variety of peppers. From Storey Publishing, it's available in our online store
    Photo by Storey Publishing/Lara Ferroni
  • Fiery Ferments
  • Fiery Ferments

Yield: 1 quart

Heat Index: Mild to Hot

The heat level in both of these variations depends entirely on the fresh pepper that you use. We’ve made this with sweet pimento peppers before, and the salad was mild and easygoing. You’ll notice in this recipe that we soak the fenugreek for a few minutes. This will soften the seed, lessen its bitterness, and bring out the sweeter maple syrup notes.

Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Beet Salad Variation

Use the same method as below, but replace the peppercorns, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, and salt with the alternate ingredients listed for a sweeter, gingery take on this salad.


• 2 large golden beets, sliced very thin

• 5 to 6 chiles of your choice, sliced

• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or

• 2 teaspoons fresh

• 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, soaked in just-boiled water for 5 minutes

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 scant tablespoon salt

Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Beet Salad Variation

• 2 tablespoons goldenberries

• 1 tablespoon dried cranberries

• 1 to 2 tablespoon sliced candied ginger

• Zest and juice of 1 lemon

• 1 teaspoon salt


1. Combine the beets, chiles, black peppercorns, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, and cardamom in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle in the salt. The mixture should become moist as soon as you start massaging everything together.

2. Pack the mixture into a jar, pressing out any air pockets as you go. Press a zip-lock bag against the surface of the ferment, fill the bag with water, and zip it closed.

3. Place the ferment in a corner of the kitchen to cure. If you see air pockets, remove the bag, press the ferment back down with a clean utensil, rinse the bag, and replace.

4. Allow to ferment for 10 to 21 days. The colors of the ferment will mute, and the brine will become cloudy. The ferment is ready when it smells pleasingly acidic and tastes pickle-y, and it may have a bit of an effervescent zing. You can let it ferment longer for more sour and punch.

5. Screw on the jar lid and store in the refrigerator, where this ferment will keep for 10 to 12 months.

Learn more about lacto-fermenting in How to Ferment Hot Peppers. 

Bio: Kirsten K. Shockey and co-author Christopher Shockey live on a 40-acre homestead in Oregon, where they’ve created more than 40 versions of cultured vegetables and krauts and have focused their efforts on teaching the art of fermentation. Excerpted with permission from Fiery Ferments (Storey Publishing, 2017).

Become a member and start enjoying the benefits today!

Fall in love with the flavor, versatility, and beauty of Heirloom Gardener

Heirloom GardenerDelight your taste buds, mind and eyes with beautiful photos and inspirational techniques on everything you need to know to grow, preserve and cook your own heirloom fruits and vegetables. You won’t want to miss the stories about plants passed down from generation to generation.

Don’t miss a single issue of Heirloom Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Heirloom Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Join today and save off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95! (USA only)

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube