I love pickled beets. They add the perfect acidity to be paired with the goat cheese and pistachios. Growing up I was never a fan of beets--probably because they came from a can! While working at Emeril's I experienced my first true beet. With stained fingers and all, they became one of my favorite vegetable. This recipe is a take on what I learned to make while working at the restaurant.
The salad I composed on countless nights consisted of pickled beets, some salad greens and goat cheese balls rolled in a herby nut mixture, thats it. I was surprised on how simple it was and how the flavors stood out! Cooking is really all about technique and starting off with the best ingredients.
It is the new year and what better way to start it off with a non-boring salad! When cooking or composing a dish, textures play a vital role. The beets are not mush, but give just a little when you bite into them. The creaminess from the goat cheese and nutty crunch from the pistachios are surely a match! I threw in some orange supremes to lighten everything up a bit and add a little more sweetness. Here is a great link from Martha Stewart on how to supreme citrus. This can be eaten as is or tossed with some lovely salad greens. Also, feel free to try different nuts to make your gremolata with. It is easy to put together--nuts, parsley, fresno chiles, orange zest and olive oil, that is it!
Pickled Beets & Goat Cheese Salad With Pistachios
- 1 pound beets
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios (lightly toasted in pan)
- 1 tsp fresno chiles, minced
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- zest of 1/2 orange
- a pinch kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 orange supreme
- 1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar or a balsamic glaze
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place beets into a pan and add 1/3 cup of water. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into medium size pieces. Place beets into a container and place aside. Bring vinegar, sugar, water, and salt to boil then pour over beets. Let beets pickle while you prepare gremolata or for at least an hour.
Combine all pistachios, fresno chile, parsley , olive oil, orange zest and salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.
Toss beets and orange supremes with some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze. Position on plate and top with goat cheese and pistachio gremolata. Drizzle with me balsamic, a few cracks and black pepper and a pinch of salt.