Patzaria Salata: Beet and Garlic Salad With Onion and Parsley

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Beet Recipe

Greek-style beet salad, “Patzaria Salata” (pah-DZAR-ee-ah) is a delicious combination of beets, garlic, oil, and vinegar which is easy to prepare, inexpensive, heart-healthy, and often served cold. Most of the work can be done well ahead of serving time.*

Servings: 6-8


  • 2 pounds of fresh medium red beets with greens attached
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 small red or white onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Chopped parsley
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Salt (optional)

Directions for fresh beets:

  1. Cut off beet tops, not too close to the bulb, leaving about 2 inches of stem on them. Wash beets well. Keep sound, tender beet greens, wash well and pat-dry.
  2. Place beets in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  3. Using high heat, bring beets to a boil. Cover and boil for 20-30 minutes, depending on their size, until tender (Insert a pointy knife or fork into the beets to check tenderness). When ready, rinse under cold water.
  4. Drain the beets. Remove the skins while hot or when just cool enough to handle (The skin usually slips off easily). You can wear disposable plastic or latex kitchen gloves when peeling skins to prevent beet juice from staining your hands red.**
  5. Slice beets into 1/4-inch thick round slices.
  6. When the beets are almost done cooking, boil the beet greens in another large pot of salted water for 5-10 minutes, until tender. Since younger beet greens cook faster than more mature ones, after 5 minutes of cooking, test greens every few minutes until done.
  7. Use tongs, a slotted spoon, or strainer to remove greens from water and drain in a colander. Arrange greens in the center of a large serving plate or add them to sliced beets.
  8. Combine garlic, vinegar, oil, onions, parsley, pepper and salt. Shake well and pour this dressing over the beets and allow to marinate for 2 or more hours before serving.
  9. Serve Patzaria by itself, or on a bed of baby spinach or other salad greens, with crumbled Feta cheese, or Greek yogurt and warm pita bread.


  • To retain nutrients and color, boil, bake or steam beets for the shortest time without peeling first. The skin will easily rub off under cold running water after they are cooked.
  • To remove beet juice from fingers, rub with wet salt and lemon juice and then wash with soap and water. For cutting boards and plastic containers, use a bleach solution.
  • If using already cooked, sliced fresh red beets or 2 1-pound cans or containers of sliced beets (discard liquid), skip to #8.
  • Costco now sells USDA organic, whole cooked beets in 1-pound plastic containers.

 *Greek beet salad is also called “Pantzaria Salata” (παντζάρια σαλάτα, pronounced pahnd-ZAH-reeyah sah-LAH-tah) in some parts of Greece.

**Beets should be stored in the refrigerator, if they are to be used at a later time.

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