beet tartare with avocado

Beet Tartare

Beet tartare is a delicious vegetarian take on the classic steak tartare. This vegetarian tartare will impress with its sophisticated fine cuts and elegant presentation. Beetroot tartare is a beautiful, healthy, and versatile dish that is deceptively simple to prepare.

Beet Tartare

Beet tartare is a vegetable dish inspired by the traditional meat dish beef tartare. In beef, or steak, tartare, the meat is either chopped finely or ground, and then served raw usually with an egg yolk, capers, herbs, among other flavors.

Beet tartare is a vegan version of beef tartare (or a vegetarian version if you use parmigiano). Beet tartare carries the hallmark of beef tartare, i.e. the beets are finely chopped and then served using a mold to hold the small pieces in shape. The way that the beets are cut into tiny cubes (a brunoise cut) gives a particular mouthfeel that is distinct from eating beets as larger chunks or slices. In fact, people who do not typically like beets may like beet tartare due to the refinement of the cuts.

Beef, or steak tartare, is a meat dish. Salmon or tuna tartare is a pescetarian version of this dish. And beet tartare is vegetable tartare that can either vegan or vegetarian depending on how you make it. So you can make tartare as a meat tartare, fish tartare, or vegetable tartare depending on whether you are serving carnivores, pescetarians, or vegetarians (or vegans), respectively.

Beet Tartar or Tartare?

Is it beet tartar or beet tartare (with an e on the end)? The correct spelling is the latter, tartare. The word comes from the Tatars, a horseriding group in Asia who allegedly rode with raw meat under their saddles. They would consume the meat raw.

The pronunciation of tartar and tartare is very similar, but the difference is which syillable gets the accent. For tartare, the accent is on the second syllable. For tartar, the accent is on the first.

Beet Tartare Recipe

Typical beet tartare recipes share some features with beef tartare, but not all. For example, beet tartare goes well with truffle oil and parmigiano, as does the carnivorous steak tartare. However, unlike beef tartare, beetroot tartare does not go well with an egg yolk or capers (of course some may have different opinions).

In this recipe, I dress the beet brunoise with salt, lemon, and truffle oil. Lime also goes well here. Sometimes I will also add ponzu, which is also delicious.

Instead of using truffle oil, olive oil also goes well – so olive oil is a great substitute if you don’t have truffle oil. In addition, you can mix olive oil with the truffle oil, in order to dilute the truffle oil taste so that it’s not overpowering.

In addition to the brunoise beets, you can add other vegetables. Here I add sliced avocado on top. I also like to top with shaved parmigiano. To do this, you can use a vegetable peeler to shave thin pieces off of the cheese.

Beet Tartare Avocado

Avocados go great in beet tartare. The soft creaminess goes with the texture of the brunoise beets, as well as any other vegetables you may add with a brunoise cut.

You can play with how you add the avocado. Here, I simply slice the avocado and lay it on top of the beet tartare. Alternatively you could mash the avocado into a puree or guacamole consistency and put it on top. Or you could even blend the avocado with a little liquid to get the consistency of a thick sauce (like an avocado crema). You could put the sauce down first on the plate, and then construct your beet tartare on top.

Beet Tartare with Truffle

Beets and truffles go really well together. Their shared earthiness makes them a natural aromatic fit. So if you really want to make this dish fancy, get a hold of some fresh truffle(s). Shave the truffle over the tartare right before serving (preferably at the table).

Realistically, however, fresh truffles can be impractical. That’s why we use truffle oil. In general, I’m not a big fan of truffle oil. It can taste and smell a bit medicinal/artificial for me. Also, it is quite strong and can be overpowering.

However, there are some truffle oils that I will use in moderation. I use this one mostly – the black truffle one. I would suggest using sparingly – a little goes a long way.

Is This Beet Tartare Vegan?

This beetroot tartare can be either vegan or vegetarian. If you want a vegan beet tartare, simply don’t add the parmigiano on the top.

Vegetable Tartare

Beetroot tartare is one example of a vegetable tartare. However, you could use different vegetables as well. Zucchini, cucumber, and fennel are all vegetables that I use regularly and work very well. Simply brunoise the vegetables the same as the beetroot (note that you don’t cook these vegetables, unlike the beets which are cooked first).

You can also mix and match the veggies and then add them in different layers in your mold when building the vegetable tartare. The different veggies will add different textures in your vegetable tartare. Fennel will give you more of a crunch. Zucchini is also a favorite, and I frequently combine it with beets and avocado to make a beet-zucchini-avocado veggie tartare.

How To Make Beet Tartare

Beet tartares can look a bit fancy because of the molded presentation.. However, they are very simple to make. Putting the veggies in the mold makes it look fancy but is simple to do. Here are the steps for a beet tartare recipe.


Here are the main ingredients for this beet tartar recipe:

1.) Beets – any type will do. I prefer to use golden beets instead of red beets, because the pigment in red beets can get messy

2.) Avocado – to top the diced molded beets

3.) Lemon or lime juice

4.) Truffle oil and/or olive oil

5.) Parmigiano


The only thing to cook is the beets. You can steam or boil them – see here for a post on steaming and peeling beets. Regardless of whether you steam or boil the beets, you can determine when they are done when they are easily pierced by a fork or paring knife.


To prepare the vegetable tartare, you first need to brunoise the beets. Dress the cut beets with the lemon juice, truffle oil, and salt. Optional ingredients you could add to the dressing are lime juice, ponzu, or olive oil.

Place a ring mold (here’s a two inch diameter one) on the plate. Place the dressed beets into the mold and push down firmly. It is best to use a spoon that has relatively flat bowl with a large surface area.

Once the beets are firmly pressed down, next lay the avocado slices on top. Remove the ring mold gently and serve. Shave some parmigiano on top and/or sprinkle some flaky Maldon salt on top of the avocado and freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe Changes

This is a very simple recipe for beet tartare, and I would encourage you to add and/or change things to your liking.

In terms of the dressing, you can change the lemon juice to lime juice or another acid. Also you can add olive oil along with the truffle oil, or just replace the truffle oil with olive oil.

Other Vegetable Tartares

The basic format of this recipe can be switched to any other vegetable tartare. Other vegetables that can be used for veggie tartare are zucchini, cucumber, fennel, radish, avocado, etc. Note that unlike the beets, you do not need to cook these vegetables. These veggies can be used alone or in combination with one another.

Making a vegetable tartare is a great way to use up vegetables because they will taste and eat differently when cut and served as a tartare.

beet tartare with avocado
Beet Tartare With Avocado

Serving the Beetroot Tartare

Beet tartare can be served at room temperature or chilled. I prefer mine slightly chilled.

You can prepare the vegetable tartare ahead of time. Leave the mold on the beets and remove right before serving.

Beetroot tartare is a great side dish in any place you would do a salad. It’s great along side a pasta dish like pasta in rose sauce, lasagna, or chicken parm.

How to Store Vegetable Tartare

The beet tartare can be stored for up to three days. Store in an airtight container.

beet tartare with avocado

Beet Tartare With Avocado and Truffle Oil

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Starter, Vegetable
Cuisine American, French, Italian, Italian American, Japanese, New American
Servings 4 people


  • Steam pot
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Ring mold


  • 6-8 whole beets, washed and scrubbed any type of beet will work (i.e., red, golden, candystripe), but red beets will be a little messier
  • 2 each avocado
  • 2 each lemon
  • 2 tbsp truffle oil
  • salt
  • parmiggiano reggiano, shaved optional


  • Wash, scrub, steam and peel beets. Beets should take roughly 30 minutes to steam, depending on size. See link for steaming and peeling beets.
  • Cut beets into small cubes, roughly 1/8" per side. Do this in three steps. First, cut whole beets into slices, roughly 1/8" thick. You can do this with a mandoline, if you have one. Otherwise use a knife, the sharper the better.
    sliced and julienne beets to cut beet tartare
  • Next, cut your slices into strips (julienne) roughly 1/8" thick. Finally, cut your thin strips into cubes that are roughly 1/8" per side.
    julienne and brunoise beets for beet tartar
  • Dress your beets with the lemon, truffle oil, and salt and mix gently. If you don't have truffle oil, you can use good olive oil.
    Dressing beet tartare with lemon, truffle oil, and salt
  • Put your dressed beets into a ring mold. Press gently on top to flatten. Add some thinly sliced avocado on the top. Remove ring mold and serve.
    plating golden beet tartare in mold
Keyword avocado, beet appetizer, beet salad, beet tartar, beet tartare, beet tartare avocado, cooked beets, golden beets, steamed beets, truffle oil

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