With three kids in the family, you have to put up with a certain amount of compromising on the all-important battlefield of dinnertime vegetables. Green beans (my favorite, but not in my sister’s good graces) switched off with spinach (I had a traumatic spinach experience in elementary school…), and everyone more or less ate it.
But as a kid, I could never compromise on beets. My sisters both loved them, so they showed up on fairly regular rotation, but I just couldn’t force them down. And my mom protested ignorance of my intense hatred every.single.time. I’m not sure I believe you anymore, mom.
Sometime during college I encountered the roasted beet, and I began to cautiously admit that these vegetables may not actually cause immediate death. Between living in a co-op and working in restaurants, I also ate many meals without having any say in the menu. If you’re hungry enough, suddenly beets don’t look so bad. And somehow, without really noticing, I became a bona fide beet eater. The horror!
I’m working on resigning myself to this strange place we call adulthood and the unprecedented acceptance of vegetables that it brings. With beets this stunning, I suppose I can deal with salad. As long as it also involves candied pistachios and plenty of cheese–maybe I haven’t quite reached full adulthood yet.
- 1 lb. beets, chiogga or regular
- 1 T. oil
- ¼ c. pistachios
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 t. butter
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. honey
- 1 t. dijon mustard
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ½ c. olive oil
- 1 head green or red leaf lettuce
- 2 oz. aged cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Peel the beets and cut into ¼" slices. Rub with 1 T. oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a fork cuts them easily.
- Candy the pistachios: Combine the pistachios, butter, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar melts. Remove from the pan and spread onto a plate or a sheet of parchment paper, stirring to prevent clumps. Let cool.
- Make the vinaigrette: Blend the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard, and thyme in a blender. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the blender is running. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Make the salad: Wash and dry the lettuce, and rip or cut into medium pieces. Thinly slice cheddar cheese. I think you know where we're going with this: put all of the yummy things together in a bowl and put dressing on them.