Beets, Tomatoes, and Cilantro

Beets, Tomatoes & Cilantro
Photo: Linda Pugliese

Beyond the summertime basil-and-mozzarella salad, tomatoes can shine in other simple combinations year-round. Here, the sweet, earthy notes of roasted beets complement the tart juiciness of heirloom and cherry varieties (but any ripe tomato can stand in). This recipe is featured in the cookbook Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99,


  • 2 bunches red or yellow beets (about 9 medium), trimmed

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 to 4 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • Flaky salt, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold each bunch of beets (if you're using different colors, you'll need to keep them separate to prevent the colors from bleeding into each other) with parchment. Place beets in center and sprinkle with orange zest and plenty of salt and pepper; drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

  2. Bring two opposite sides of foil to meet. Fold edges down about 1 inch, then fold again to create a nice, tight seal. Fold up remaining edges a couple of times to finish your packet. Place your packet or packets on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 1 hour.

  3. Use a paper towel to rub skins gently to remove them (again keeping different-color beets separate)—they should come off quite easily. Clean up your mess, then thinly slice beets. Arrange with tomatoes on plates or a platter. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and a little black pepper and flaky salt.

Cook's Notes

This is a great way to showcase a variety of tomatoes. Different colors, shapes, and sizes transform this dish into something really striking and completely irresistible—the more the merrier.

Excerpted from the new book Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99,, by Jess Damuck, published by Abrams. Text © 2022 by Jess Damuck. Photography by Linda Pugliese.

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