Every time I talk about how beautiful beets are – their color, subtle earthiness and sweetness, and how they complement so many other ingredients – someone inevitably tells me how much they dislike them. In fact, I used to dislike beets myself. So much of our love for food is based on our childhood memories and experience, and when I think back to how beets were served, I remember them being overcooked and flavorless.
This recipe shows you how to cook beets a more flavorful way, by roasting and steaming them. We infuse the beets with herbs, balsamic vinegar and whole garlic cloves. This dish packs in nutritious flavor, offers eye-popping color and can easily be made vegan or vegetarian based on the type of yogurt you use. It makes for an excellent appetizer or salad that complements the true essence of the beet.
Roasted beet, avocado and grapefruit salad with toasted pistachios
- 3 medium-sized bulbs of red beets, washed
- 3 medium-sized bulbs of golden or yellow beets, washed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ your favorite full-fat Greek style yogurt (substitute with plain coconut milk)
- 6 mint leaves, sliced finely
- 1 grapefruit, supreme into 8-10 segments with juice. Watch our video on how to supreme citrus.
- 1 avocado diced into ½" pieces
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, crushed not ground (option to toast pistachios)
- ½ cup snow pea tendril microgreens (substitute with different microgreens as desired)
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt (or more salt depending on your taste)
- ½ Tbsp. cracked black peppercorn (or more pepper depending on your taste)
- Sprinkle of Maldon Sea Salt for finishing (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Now begin to build an air-tight bag using tinfoil to roast/steam the beets. Cut four pieces of tinfoil, each 12” in length. Lay flat two sheets (layering one on top of the other) horizontally. Then on top of the horizontal sheets, lay flat two sheets vertically (again layering one on top of the other).
- Place the beets in the middle of the foil, being careful not to puncture the foil. Add, garlic, 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Liberally add salt and pepper, or about 1 tsp. of kosher salt and ½ tsp. cracked black peppercorn. Fold the foil loosely around the beets, keeping all liquid and herbs inside, and close it so that it is airtight.
- Place your airtight bag in the oven on the middle rack. Cook beets about 1.5 hours or until tender, testing like you would a potato. (Poke a pointed knife in the beet and there should be little to no resistance. If you want to test, you will have to open up the tin foil pouch –not put holes in it.) You can cook the beets up to a day in advance.
- While beets are cooking, add mint to yogurt and reserve in fridge.
- Segment the grapefruit into supremes and reserve juice (see our how-to video here).
- When beets are done remove from foil, saving any juice left over in foil. Discard herbs and garlic.
- Cool the beets at room temperature or put in fridge if making in advance. Once cool, peel the skin of the beet from the flesh with a small paring knife. I recommend you use gloves to prevent turning your hands red. Remember to keep the red and golden beets separate, so the red doesn’t bleed into the yellow.
- Dice both colored beets into ¾“ square. Using a separate bowl for each beet color, add the saved juices you reserved from the tin foil pouch and toss with beets. Check for seasoning and reserve.
- To plate: Cut the avocado and lightly toss with the grapefruit segments. Place the mint yogurt onto a plate making a large circle in the middle (must be large enough to hold the beets and other ingredients). Carefully spoon the red beets onto the yogurt – it’s fine to include some of the juices in with it, as that will just add flavor. Follow the same process with the golden beets. Next, layer on the grapefruit and avocado segments (but be careful not to include more than 1 Tbsp. of the grapefruit juice). Arrange the dish for presentation.
- Garnish with pea tendril, crushed pistachios and Maldon Sea Salt and serve