Trotsky salad recipe

Trotsky salad, ready to be servedI recently decided to make beet salad, but managed to forget to pick up every single ingredient in the recipe, save sliced beets. What I did have on hand was a lot of produce that had previously been bought and forgotten. I threw it all together, in a combination that sounds dodgy at best, and called it "Trotsky Salad" (Russian beets meet Mexican avocado-- and a little nuts!). The result was incredibly delicious-- if you're not opposed to beets-- and we've been eating it ever since. It's vegan, and pretty healthy (save perhaps the sodium in the canned beets.)

All quantities listed below are flexible; I doubt I've made it with the exact same proportion of ingredients twice. The quantity below serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side. From start to finish, it probably takes 15 minutes.

Trotsky salad

  • 2 cans sliced beets (or 1 lb sliced beets from the deli)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 bundles of green onions
  • 2 Roma tomatoes (or 1 container grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, pulverized in a food processor
  • ~ 1 Tbsp lemon juice; add a bit more if you plan on keeping it overnight, to minimize the avocados' turning brown
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa*, or more to taste

Coarsely chop up and mix together. the sliced beets, avocados, green onions, and tomatoes. Mix in the lemon juice and harissa. Serve, covering each portion with pulverized peanuts.

* Hot sauce isn't a good substitute for harissa. Unlike most hot sauce, it has no vinegar. The brand I use, Le Cabanon (

Variant: Trotsky Does Thailand

This may simply be substituting one obscure ingredient for another, but if you find your local grocery store is out of harissa, but you have a small can of Thai panang curry paste lying around (actual Thai curry paste, not the "Thai" curry paste made by and for Americans), you can substitute 1/3 to 1/2 can of the curry paste for the harissa. I can vouch for getting a positive result out of panang curry paste, but I can imagine masaman curry also being good.


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