Salad of Green Beans, Onions and Beets

“The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets…” (III:74)

Medieval Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad

Modern Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad

Our thoughts:

We are huge fans of beetroot, in fact they are one of our favorite veg, so we are thrilled to include them in these recipes! The color of these salads alone make them seem really impressive. They are both very similar in terms of presentation, but the taste varies.

The medieval salad tastes…well…medieval. The taste profile is somewhat weak, the strongest flavor coming from the semi-caramelized red onions. The beets taste as boiled beets should, and the green beans wouldn’t be anything without the salt we put on them. Balsamic vinegar is a must to make this dish passable.

We liked the modern salad far better, with the complexities of the thyme making the dish more interesting to eat. Broiling all the veg brought out the sweetness in each one, especially the beets and onions. The balsamic was less of a necessity on this dish, but it finishes the tastes fantastically.

Overall, if you have to choose, choose modern.

Medieval Salad

While we did not find a medieval recipe that has these exact ingredients, we opted to treat each vegetable as it most often is in medieval cookery, and top the salads with oil and vinegar, as most salad recipes we found called for.


  • 2 large beets
  • 2 red onions
  • 1/4lb green beans, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • your favorite vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Trim and wash beats and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender. Plunge beets into cold water, and slough off outer skin. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Slice onions into rings and separate. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, but still vibrantly colored. Swap onions with green beans, cooking till tender.

Slice the beets into large discs, layering the beets and onions, and top with green beans. Drizzle on your choice of vinegar and olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Modern Salad


  • 2 large beets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 2 red onions, cut in 6 wedges
  • 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut to 3-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F.

Wrap beets in foil, and place directly on the oven rack. roast until they are tender and can be pierced with a knife, usually about an hour. Let the beets cool, and peel and quarter them. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, salt, pepper, and toss to coat.

Place onion wedges on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Turn onions over, and roast for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Place green beans on the baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, a bit of water, 1 teaspoon thyme, and salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and roast until almost crisp-tender, about 14 minutes. Uncover and continue to roast until water evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with onions.

Drizzle onions and green beans with balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with beets and serve warm.

13 thoughts on “Salad of Green Beans, Onions and Beets”

  1. Eloi says:

    Gorgeous recipes, we will try them out!

  2. Barristan says:

    Wonderfull recipes, really nice blog, and flawless sense of humor! I rise a toast for you dudes!

  3. Tami in Ruidoso says:

    I did this with revisions for part of our Father’s Day meal. (Other side dish was the White Beans and Bacon – good also!) We live in a small mountain resort village; we take what we get at the grocery and don’t complain. ( It has gotten better the past year or so though…now I have arugula!) But, beets don’t show up very often. I made this as a hot side veggie dish, not a salad. I added a red onion cut into 16 wedges to 1/2 lb fresh green beans, tossed with olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper, then grilled in a grill basket until tender and a bit charred. Drizzled with a tiny bit of balsamic and served. Wonderful! Would like to try it with beets as a salad…one day maybe. Thanks for the recipes.

  4. kayla simms says:

    do u think most people like this?

    1. ChoppedGinger says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I really enjoyed this recipe. I love anything that has beets in it! A great addition is a bit if chevre sprinkled over top.

  5. derek says:

    I thought everything at the Red Wedding was written to sound absolutely disgusting–describing the leek soup as “thin”, this salad which seems to have pretty dis-harmonious ingredients…

    Interesting that you’ve made at least two things from the menu!

  6. Judy G. says:

    uh, green beans aren’t medieval. Green beans come from the new world. The only medieval bean is the bean called fava or broad bean.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Nope, they’re not medieval. But neither is Game of Thrones, and our cooking accuracy bows first to the novels, then to historical precedence. If you really want to get yourself going, contemplate GRRM’s inclusion of sweetcorn eaten on the cob… :)

  7. Jesse says:

    Yeah, just made this tonight. Used French green beans and followed the directions to the letter. Outstanding! Hubby loved the combination of beets, beans and onions. Will definitely be making this dish again. Simple ingredients always seem to result in a fabulous tasting meal.

  8. PatW says:

    Hmmmm… Since I’m trying to beat the heat, I’m going to do the onions and green beans on the grill, and use canned beets. Should work.

  9. Kristoffer Ray says:

    I prepared this, but included Brussels sprouts (halved) and winter carrots (jullienned) for some more color and texture. I made balsamic glaze to drizzle over top and it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      Oh, that sounds absolutely wonderful!

  10. fallensbane says:

    But how can we make such a delicious dish when good King Tommen has outlawed beets? Well maybe when Queen Danaerys takes the throne she might allow it once again. In all seriousness, I do intend to make this delicious side dish next. So far I have made the Skillet Cranberries and the Beef and Bacon Pie (the modern/savory one) and both were enjoyed greatly. I look forward to trying out many more!

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