The dried, salted fish roe known in Italy as bottarga sometimes gets called the poor man’s caviar, but it makes for a great salty, summery salad topping. The other thing to keep in mind about this salad is the importance of washing your knife and your hands after plating each serving of beets. Otherwise, the beet color will bleed into the cucumber and turn your cucumber purple!


  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 English cucumber, halved and seeded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


  1. In a medium pot, combine the beet with water to cover. Salt lightly and bring to a boil. Cook forabout 20 minutes, then remove from the water and set aside to cool.
  2. Using a mandoline, first slice the cucumber into very thin strings. Then slice the beet (The cucumber is first, since the beet will stain the mandoline.)
  3. In a small measuring cup, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until the mixture is emulsified. It should look opaque, with a bright yellow/green color.
  4. In each of 2 salad bowls, place strings of cucumber and beet. Try to give as much height and dimension as possible—you could even use tweezers.
  5. Shave 1/2 tablespoon bottarga on top of each cucumber/beet serving. Lightly sprinkle each serving with the dressing. Garnish with lemon zest on top, and serve.