This roasted beet salad was one of the stars of our recent Whole30 grill-out to make sure Melissa and Dallas of Whole9Life were properly fed during their stay in Austin. This salad is exotic, but not fussy or too weird – the flavors make sense but are also, magically, unexpected.
This recipe is for two bunches of beets, so it makes enough for a few meals. It’s easily halved if you don’t want to dine on it for days. Directions for roasting the beets and additional suggestions at the end. (Recipe adapted from farm+house+table, the beautiful people who bring me Farmhouse Delivery produce every week.)
2 bunches beets, roasted and sliced OR shortcut! use 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of beets
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced, OR freshly-chopped chives
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Combine orange juice, vinegar, spices, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Whisking continuously, drizzle in the olive oil. Use your CrossFit muscles to keep that whisk whirling.
3. Toss the beets, spring onions, and pistachios into a large bowl. Lovingly dance them around in the dressing.
This tastes best if you allow the flavors to meld for an hour before serving, and I like it at room temperature. You do what you like!
To roast the beets:
Wash them but don’t bother peeling; the skins grow tender during roasting and you save yourself a step AND avoid red fingers. Keep the beets whole – or cut in half if they’re very large — for roasting. Toss the beets with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast in a 375 oven for roughly 45-60 minutes. I don’t know how long I left mine in the oven – just poke one with a fork and when it’s tender, they’re done.
To toast pistachios:
You can toast them in the oven on a cookie sheet for the last 7-10 minutes of the beet roasting. (Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!) Or, if you forget the way I did, just throw them in a skillet over medium-high heat on the stove and shake ‘em around for about 2-3 minutes. Again, keep a vigilant eye to avoid charring. When they’re cool, coarsely chop them (which makes it sound like you should yell cuss words at them [coarse language]).
I thought the salad was a little oily, so on my next attempt, I might try only 1/3 cup olive oil instead of the 1/2 cup.
The original recipe did not include cumin, but you know how I feel about cumin. Spice. Of. Life. I think next time, I’m going to try adding 1/4 teaspoon ground to the dressing. (If you do this, can you let me know how it goes?)
The shape of the beets:
I cut them into half moon slices about 1/4-inch think. I’m curious about what would happen to the experience if I sliced them thin-thin… and if I tried them in thicker chunks. Again, if you experiment, share the results!
The green tops:
Do not toss these! Promise me you won’t toss these! They’re delicious and super nutrition power-packed. Here’s what you do: wash them. A lot. Rinse off all the grit. Then coarsely chop and throw them in a pan with a little water and steam ’til tender. THEN – and this is what turns them from soggy greens into deliciousness – add a little coconut or olive oil, plenty of salt, and a few garlic cloves. Sauté ’til they’re the way you like ‘em and eat. Feel great about using the entire beet!
(I just got this idea which I’m totally doing next time: Pile the hot greens on a plate and top with the room temperature salad. Booyah!)
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