Beet + Asparagus Salad with Pistachio Lemon Beet-Top Pesto | Seasonal cooking | Spring produce
Beet + Asparagus Salad with Pistachio Lemon Beet-Top Pesto
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 red beets with stems and leaves
  • 3 golden beets
  • 1 (1 lb) bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salted, roasted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice will be used)
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp good quality raspberry jam*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ F. 

  2. Separate red beetroots from their stems by cutting at the base of the stems, and taking off the top 1/8 inch of the beetroot. Cut the stems free from the root top. Discard the misshapen connecting bit. Now cut the stems at the top, just where they begin to run into the leaves. Chop stems into 1 inch pieces. Rinse well under cold water.

  3. Roughly chop the red beet greens and rinse well under cold water. Set aside for pesto.

  4. Return to the red beet roots and chop off the small root end that may be sticking out, and then use a vegetable peeler or small knife to trim away any rough areas on the skin. No need to peel the entire beet, just trim away any parts that feel hairy (from small roots) or calloused. Wash each beet well under cold water. Dice the beets into 1/2 cubes. 

  5. Prepare golden beetroots (peel and wash) and dice into 1/2 inch cubes also. Golden beet stems and leaves will not be used in this recipe. Feel free to discard or save for a later use.

  6. Snap the white ends off the asparagus. They tend to naturally snap off (like you are breaking a twig with your thumb and your pointer finger) at the point where they are tender. Discard the woody ends. Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces (same size as the beet stems) and rinse well under cold water.

  7. Toss asparagus, beet stems, red beets and golden beets SEPARATELY in a bowl. Each grouping should be tossed with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. 

  8. Pile each vegetable neatly on a baking sheet, making sure the asparagus and beet stems are next to each other for easiest removal. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing gently with tongs halfway through the cook time.

  9. Remove the asparagus and beet stems to a serving bowl.

  10. Continue cooking red and golden diced beets for an additional 15 minutes. Check them once to stir and pour off excess liquid. After 15 minutes they should be easily pierced with the tip of a knife, not too soft, but not crunchy either. Taste one and check for doneness if you are on the fence.

  11. Add beets to serving bowl. 

  12. In a food processor add 2 packed cups of chopped beet greens (2 oz), 1/4 cup pistachios, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, the zest of a lemon, 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons raspberry jam.

    Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the food processor once or twice to ensure a consistent, finished pesto. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

  13. Pour 1/2 the pesto on the salad and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. You can also add more pesto if you'd like.

    Salad can be served room temperature or cold.

Recipe Notes

*I use Trader Joe's Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread. It has a bright, pure raspberry flavor, and is sweetened only with fruit juice. Most importantly, raspberries are the first ingredient.

Leftover pesto can be used for pasta, crostini, or another salad. Get creative!