The humble beet is my favorite root vegetable. Whether golden, pink, or red, it’s a great addition to salads, appetizers, or served alongside an entree. I like to feature beets with a simple combination of flavors and textures to bring out the best in the root vegetable. It isn’t difficult to transform this hard and astringent root into a tender and sweet palate pleaser with our roasted beets.
For roasting the beets:
5 lbs. red, chiogga, or golden beets
1 dried ancho chile, seeded and stemmed
2 dried arbol chile, seeded and stemmed
1 Tbl. champagne vinegar
2 tsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and place in a deep roasting pan. Add ancho and arbol chiles, champagne vinegar, coriander seeds, and whole black peppercorns to the pan and mix with the beets. Add water to cover the bottom third of the beets. Seal tightly with aluminum foil and roast for about two hours or until fork tender. Remove beets and reduce oven to 350 degrees. When beets are cool enough to handle, use a peeler or rub with a clean kitchen towel to remove the outer skin of the beet. Slice into bite-size pieces and place into a mixing bowl.
To finish the dish:
2 Tbl. pistachios
2 Tbl. pepitas
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 dashes olive oil
2 pinches salt
1 Tbl. shallot, diced
1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, sliced
1 Tbl. pickled mustard seeds or whole grain mustard
Dollop or two of avocado crema*
Pea shoots, cress, arugula, or your favorite tender lettuce greens
Place the pistachios and pepitas on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and toast for 15-20 minutes in oven at 350 degrees. Let cool. Rough chop and set aside.
To finish the dish, add the lemon, olive oil, and salt to the mixing bowl with the beets. Stir to mix seasonings evenly. Add shallots, Fresno chile or red jalapeño, and mustard or mustard seeds, then stir. Transfer the seasoned beets to your favorite serving vessel. Top the beets with a dollop or two of avocado crema, a sprinkle of toasted nuts, and a handful of your favorite tender lettuce greens.
½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp. smoked honey (check out our post on smoking honey here)
1 dash habanero hot sauce
2 pinches salt
Place all the ingredients for the avocado crema in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Love beets? Try our Gemischter Salat with raw beets and a roasted beet dressing!