Chef Sam Gowing’s Beet & Rosewater salad

Any good food will float your lover’s boat, of course, but it’s all about red for romance especially if you want to impress your lover. Beets are native to the Mediterranean, however the tinned variety will always be remembered when in white bread sandwiches, salad rolls and on hamburgers across Australia.

Cookery writer Jane Grigson once referred to beets as a “bossy” vegetable, due to their powerful colour, which may permeate all corners of the kitchen.  Yet it’s not just the colour that holds power, their healing properties are mighty and when combined with culinary flair, and may provide superbly warming menu ideas.

chef sam gowing prepares beets for a salad

Beets have strong detoxifying properties, as they are high in chlorine, which assists in the cleansing of the liver, kidneys and bloodstream. They are also rich in potassium, which balances the metabolism. The mighty beets nourish the blood, tonify the heart, calm the spirit and nervousness, – and they lubricate the intestines and cleanse the liver.

These root vegetables are best dry roasted with skins on to preserve their wonderful soft texture, rich flavour and prevent the colour from bleeding. Simply scrub them prior to baking with a vegetable brush, being careful not to break or prick the skin, and cook in a moderate oven around 180 C. until they are tender for about 1 hour. Trim the stalks and roots, carefully peel and slice as required.

The energetics of beets 

Beets are cooling, alkalising and expansive and naturally sweet. Vitamins include B1,2,3,6, C, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc. Not to be used in patients with kidney stones due to the high oxalic acid content which can inhibit calcium metabolism.

Therapeutic applications include:

  • Treatment of anaemia (because they tonify the blood)
  • Heart weakness, irritability, and liver intoxication.
  • Use with carrots for hormone regulation during menopause.
  • Liver cleansing – Simmer beet tops drink tea and/or combine with dandelion (below)
  • Constipation – beet and cabbage soup
  • Blood deficiency – cook beets with black beans and peanuts
  • Herpes – three-day vegetable fast and my famous beet top tea – see VDO

This uplifting recipe is inspired by a Middle Eastern version from Dani Valent‘s Thermomix book In the Mix which is available from TM resellers. I have modified the recipe slightly over the years to suit the natural wholefoods philosophy of my kitchen.

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Chef Sam Gowing’s Beet & Rosewater salad

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  • Author: Samantha Gowing
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This uplifting recipe is inspired by a Middle Eastern version from Dani Valent‘s Thermomix book In the Mix which is available from TM resellers. I have modified the recipe slightly over the years to suit the natural wholefoods philosophy of my kitchen.



3 large raw beetroot, peeled, finely chopped in a food processor or grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
1 tablespoon lightly toasted pepitas
2 tablespoons pomegranate kernels
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Place all the ingredients, except pepitas and pomegranate seeds, into a large bowl.
  2. Mix well ensuring every shred of beets are coated.
  3. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Scatter over the pepitas and pomegranate seeds.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.


Rosewater is made through a process of distillation, extracting the essential oil from rose petals. Here’s a basic overview of how rosewater is typically made:

1. Harvesting Roses The process begins with the harvesting of fresh rose petals. Ideally, these petals should be free from pesticides and other contaminants.

2. Water and Petals Mixture The rose petals are then usually soaked in water. This can be done by placing the petals in a pot or container filled with water. The water absorbs the essence and fragrance of the roses.

3. Distillation The mixture of rose petals and water is then heated in a distillation apparatus. As the mixture is heated, steam carries the essential oil from the rose petals into a condensation chamber, where it cools and turns back into liquid form. The condensed liquid collected is the rosewater.

4. Separation The rosewater is separated from any remaining essential oil, and the final product is collected.

It’s important to note that the quality of the rosewater depends on the quality of the roses used, the distillation process and whether any additional chemicals or preservatives are added. Traditional methods involve simple distillation without the use of synthetic additives, resulting in a purer rosewater product.

Rosewater has been used for various purposes, including culinary applications, skincare, and in perfumes, due to its pleasant fragrance and potential benefits for the skin.

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Plant-based
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Modern Australian

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Beet Top Tea Recipe



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