Wine Roasted Beet Salad with Blue Cheese Cream & Pistachio Vinaigrette

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If you want to celebrate the best of the combination of beets, blue cheese and pistachios, well, it doesn’t get any better than this.

I’m not stranger to roasted beets, and I’m sure if you are a beet lover, you have certainly roasted more than you share in your time. I mean, it’s an awesome way to prepare them, it brings out all the natural sugars in the veg AND it can be THE easiest way to cook them. Most of the time, you don’t even have to peel them if you don’t mind the peels (I generally don’t!)

I stumbled across a technique for roasting the beets in olive oil and white wine. Huh? Isn’t that more like poaching? Whatever you call it, it’s fabulous. And, if you want to roast different types of beets at the same time, you can. If you care about keeping your colors distinct (which I am…hello, artist factor, right?) you need to roast each beet in a different pan so the colors don’t bleed into each other. But, hey…I did three different kinds and I used two bread pans and a small baking dish.

So once you roast your beets, you peel them. If I’m going high-brow on this salad I WILL peel them, but once beets are roasted it really means just scraping the peels off with a knife. No biggie.

The salad seems complex with its various components. But most of them can be prepared ahead and kept until ready to plate. And each component isn’t complex so that’s good. But, when you put all the pieces together, you’ll end up with a salad that is OUTRAGEOUS.

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Wine-Roasted Beets Salad with Blue Cheese Cream & Pistachio Vinaigrette

A unique combo of multi-colored beets, creamy blue cheese and a vinaigrette featuring pistachio oil and roasted pistachios with an elegant presentation that cannot be "beet!"
Course: Salad
Keyword: beets, blue cheese, blue cheese salad, blue cheese vinaigrette, fancy salad presentation, pistachio vinaigrette, roasted beets, salads with nuts
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Corinne Gregory Sharpe

Equipment

  • ring mold (see Note 3, below, for options)
  • squeeze bottle

Ingredients

For Roasted Beets

  • 3 lbs mixed colored beets (red, golden, Chiogga) as desired
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

For Blue Cheese Cream

  • 4 oz Blue Cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
  • 4 oz Mascarpone Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pistachio oil
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ice water (if needed for vinaigrette)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
  • chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling on salad

Instructions

For Roasted Beets

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the tops and the tails from the beets. Separating the beets by color, put each in a small roasting or loaf pan. Pour enough wine in each pan to come half way up the beets. Cover with foil and roast for 45 min-1 hr, depending on the size of the beets. A knife should pierce the beet easily when they are done. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then slip the peels off the beets. Cut beets into uniform 1 to 1 1/2" chunks and set aside.

For Blue Cheese Cream

  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine mascarpone and blue cheeses, beating at low speed until blended and creamy. Add salt, pepper and 2 Tbs of whipping cream, beating on medium speed until blended. Continue adding whipping cream gradually until a desired creamy texture is developed (Note: if you like your blue cheese cream a little thinner, feel free to add additional cream, 1 Tbs at a time until you reach your desired texture). Set aside until ready to assemble salad.

For Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • In a blender, mix together the shallot, thyme, egg yolks and mustard until smooth. While the machine is running, gradually add the pistachio oil and then the olive oil 1 Tbs at a time. If the mixture gets too thick, add 1 Tbs ice water. If you feel your blender getting warm, stop it for a moment because you don't want your emulsion to heat up. See Note 1 below, for how to fix if your emulsion "breaks." Once you have finished the vinaigrette, transfer it into a squeeze bottle (if using) and keep cool until ready to use. See Note 2 for options if you don't have a squeeze bottle or don't want to use.

To Plate Salad

  • Before assembling, chill 4-6 salad plates in the refrigerator.
  • Spoon about 2 Tbs of the Blue Cheese Cream onto a plate. Using your ring mold (again, see Note 3 if you don't have one), add a mound of mixed beets on the top of the Blue Cheese Cream. Squeeze or spoon a trail of Pistachio Vinaigrette around the outside of the Blue Cheese Cream circle. Toss a Tbs or so of the chopped toasted pistachios over the salad, sprinkle on parsley and finish with some grinds of coarse black pepper. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, if desired. If not serving immediately, keep cool in the refrigerator while you repeat with the remaining plates.

Notes

NOTE 1: If your emulsion “breaks” (meaning the oils separate from the other ingredients) while you are working with it, it’s probably because the mixture got warm in the blender container. Stop the blender, cool the container and the mixture briefly in the fridge or in a bath of cold water. Add another egg yolk to the container along with a few drops of ice water and reblend. It should come together smoothly at this point.
NOTE 2: If you don’t have a squeeze bottle for the vinaigrette, you can use a pastry bag with a small plain tip. You can also use a zip-top bag; fill the bag with the vinaigrette and cut a VERY small tip of a corner and secure with a twist tie until ready to use. You certainly are welcome to spoon the dressing on the plates, but the “squeeze” method will give you the most elegant plating.
NOTE 3: The most elegant presentation can be made if you use a ring mold to “capture” the beets on the Blue Cheese Cream. However, you certainly have the option of just spooning the beets on the Blue Cheese Cream. However, if you want to get creative, you can do what I had to do on a boat one time and cut the bottom out of a small 4oz plastic container used for cheese or dip and use that as your “ring mold.”

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