I love beets. I should clarify; I love roasted beets – pickled or canned beets, not so much. This recipe is a mainstay in my kitchen – I use everything from late spring's baby beets to summer's glorious full-size ones, be it garnet, golden or chioggia beets. The inherent sweetness of the beets is offset by the smoky cumin, the tang of the red-wine vinegar and the goat cheese that adds a perfect, creamy salinity to balance it out. Throw in some pistachios for both the amazing color contrast and texture and you have a really delicious, healthful salad that goes well with fish, chicken, pork, beef, lamb, etc.
Disclaimer: The beets have barely made it to Pickle's lips. I'll let you know when one is actually ingested.
Roasted beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios
1-2 bunches baby beets or one bunch, medium-sized beets, greens removed and reserved for other use
4 oz. goat cheese
¼ cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ to 1 teaspoon cumin, to taste
½ teaspoon kosher salt
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
For baby beets: wrap 4-5 beets on heavy duty aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining beets. Larger beets can be wrapped individually. Place foil packets on a baking sheet and roast beets for 45 minutes to an hour. Let beets cool and then peel the beets and remove any remaining stems. Slice beets into quarters, lengthwise, and place in serving bowl.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, add vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, add the olive oil, whisking continuously until you get an emulsion. Taste vinaigrette and adjust seasonings, adding more cumin, salt or pepper. Pour dressing over beets and toss to coat. Garnish with pistachios and crumbled goat cheese.