Sometimes I find a compelling recipe and hunt down ingredients. Other times the impetus is a vague idea but no recipe erupting into cooking by braille with ingredients laying around. Then there are moments like this one when I find a good ingredient then try to build around it.
Beets! Red and Gold.
- 1/4 C Pistachio Oil
- 1/4 C Shallots, chopped
- 2T Lemon Juice, fresh
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t Black Pepper
- pinch of cayenne
- 4-5 Large Beets; a couple gold, a couple red
- Roasted Pistachio
- 1/4 C Goat Cheese, crumbled
- Sunflower Green or other small leafy thing
Peel and double wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Bake at 425 for 1 1/2 hours. Cool then dice about 1/2 inch. Move each colored beet to its own bowl.
Whisk together the oil, shallots, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put half the dressing over each bowl of beets and toss. Cover and refrigerate beets for about an hour.
Now the tricky part, assembly. You could just toss the beets in a bowl, sprinkle with goat cheese pistachios and sunflower greens and call it done. I did that. Then I tried the deconstructionist’s presentation by molding the beets in a ramekin then turning it over on a plate. The beets did not cooperate. I finally ordered them into a small spice bowl, turned that on to a plate then reshaped by hand. I’ll figure something else out next time.
I really liked pistachio oil with the rest of the ingredients. Pistachio oil is lighter flavoured than olive oil but not quite as innocuous as sunflower or canola. Combined with the acidity of the lemon, the saltiness of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the beets, it makes an incredible side dish. Or in my case – dinner.