Saturday, February 1, 2014

Roasted Beet and Garlic Pesto

I had some baked beets in my refrigerator and I wanted to do something different with them besides simply eating them as a side or gussying-up a salad. 

Hmmmm, thought she, I wonder what beet pesto would taste like?

I threw the baked beauties in the food processor, added some vegetable stock, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese and tossed the concoction with some fresh linguine.

Good, especially for an impromptu dinner, but not the taste I wanted.

So, during a mid-winter jaunt to Palm Beach to escape the tundra, I tell my cooking companions about my “research” and they suggest I substitute ingredients found in a traditional beet salad, walnuts, goat cheese and olive oil.  I warned them that they were going to be my experimental victims because it was my turn to cook next.  However, just for kicks and giggles, I searched Google for “beet pesto” and realized I wasn’t a culinary pioneer at all! 


This version is indeed my own potion and is so incredibly good.  The creamy goat cheese and the earthy nuts complement the natural sweetness of the beets so nicely.  We served the pasta with a beautiful arugula and citrus salad. Simply delicious….and pretty !

The Romans used beets as a natural aphrodisiac, and by the looks of those soldiers (have you watched Cleopatra?), they certainly did not need a little blue pill.  Beets pack a vitamin punch, containing high amounts of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C and beta-carotene. And, if you want to detox your body, beets help to purify your blood, prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.  And, bonus, beets contain tryptophan, a substance known to help depression, relax the mind and make you feel happy.  So, improves sex drive, prevents cancer, lowers blood pressure and makes you happy….elementary, my dear readers!

Roasted Beet and Garlic Pesto

3 large purple beets, trimmed, peeled and quartered
4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
½ cup shelled and chopped walnuts
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup crumbled goat cheese  
1 pound of fresh linguine or other pasta

Roast the beets and garlic in a 400° oven until tender, about 35 minutes.  Add the beets , walnuts, lemon, olive oil to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, Add the goat cheese and pulse again until the mixture is incorporated and silky…you will know what this means!   

Cook the linguine (or any other pasta) and toss with the pesto. Serve immediately. This is a thick pesto but thin with a little bit of pasta water if you think it’s too thick.


Clara said...

Hi! This looks delicious. I've been reading some of your posts, and really enjoying.

We met at Ten Thousand Villages a few weeks ago and shared food blog urls. You'd also mentioned the cookbook Jerusalem, and how it had affected you. I said it sounded familiar, but couldn't place it. When I went home and googled it, I realized why it was so familiar. I'd checked it out before, because I have Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi! I love that cookbook.

Sorry to put this all in Comments. I didn't see anywhere to email. Thanks for sharing your blog.

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Hi Clara,
Oh yes, I remember you and I am so glad you finally placed the cookbook. My next post is also from Jerusalem. Remind me of your blog title again. -- Joann

Clara said...

Hi Joann...It's