This spectacular salad of roasted beets, chipotle pistachio butter, grapefruit, and black garlic, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, smoked olive oil, and garnished with roasted pistachios has a complex depth of flavors, ranging from sweet and smoky, earthy and spicy, tangy and citrusy, that will tickle all of your taste buds. The unique, complex flavors will fire up all of your taste buds, guaranteed!
Smoky Beet Salad with Chipotle Pistachio Butter, Grapefruit, and Black Garlic [Vegan]
For the salad:
- 5-6 medium beets (this recipe used golden beets)
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented into bite-size pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons of pistachio butter (dressing recipe follows)
- A drizzle of smoked oil*
- 4-5 black garlic cloves** peeled, and cut into small pieces
- a handful of whole roasted salted pistachios
- 1-2 cups of greens optional, like arugula, or spring mix
- pinch of cinnamon optional
For the chipotle pistachio butter:
- 2 cups roasted salted pistachios, shelled
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (substitue with dry chipotle chili powder)
- a pinch of extra salt
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Chipotle pistachio butter (can be made in advance):
- Reserve about 2-3 tablespoons of whole roasted pistachios, and add the rest to a food processor. Run it for about 2-3 minutes, until the nuts begin to turn from finely ground flour into a sticky butter.
- Add the chipotle pepper sauce, or dry chipotle chili pepper, and salt, and process again.
- Slowly drizzle a bit of olive oil through the feed chute of your processor, while it's still running, until the butter is thinned out a bit.
- Taste and adjust the heat/smokiness to your liking. Store in a jar in your fridge for months. Add it to dips, or salads, or spread on crackers as a snack.
Prepare the vegetables:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Clean the beets (peeling is optional), and cut into 1/4-inch thick coins (if beets are big, cut in half first).
- Arrange beets in a single layer on a baking sheet, without overlapping, and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the beets are nicely roasted and soft. Take out and let cool a bit.
- Peel the grapefruit, remove all membranes, and segment into bite-size pieces.
- Peel the black garlic, and cut into small pieces.
Assemble the salad:
- Place a handful or two of the greens at the bottom of a serving plate.
- Arrange the roasted beets on top. Add the grapefruit pieces (about half of the grapefruit).
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, smoked oil (a little bit goes a long way), and the pistachio butter (if too thick, thin out by adding olive oil to it first).
- Sprinkle the whole roasted pistachios on top.
- Add some salt, and a pinch of cinnamon (optional).
* You can buy smoked olive oil or make your own by adding a few drops of liquid smoke to regular olive oil. ** You can buy black garlic or, alternatively, roast a whole head of garlic with olive oil, wrapped in foil, at the same time you are roasting the beets. Check on the garlic around 30 minutes into baking so it doesn't burn. Peel and add to the salad.