I typically think of beets as a late-fall or winter vegetable, since they store very well after their growing season. But early to midsummer is the best time to enjoy the sweetest, smallest beets of the year. Beets and horseradish are a classic Slavic/Jewish combination, and I think they work particularly well when those beets are roasted to enhance their sweetness and the horseradish comes in the form of a creamy sauce.
Why It Works
- Roasting beets in foil concentrates their flavor, while keeping them juicy and tender.
- Hot horseradish is a classic pairing with sweet, earthy beets. Pistachios add texture and a toasty, nutty flavor.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time:20 minutes
- Total time:About 2 1/2 hours
- For the Beets:
- 2 pounds (about 1kg) beets, unpeeled, greens removed, scrubbed clean
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Horseradish Crème Fraîche:
- 4 ounces (100ml) crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) prepared horseradish, store-bought or homemade
- For the Dressing and to Serve:
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon (about 5g) minced fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon (about 5g) minced fresh chives
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons; 15g)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) honey
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pistachios (115g), toasted and roughly chopped
For the Beets: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Fold a 12- by 24-inch sheet of aluminum foil in half to form a square. Crimp together foil on 2 sides of square to form a pouch with an opening on one side. In a medium bowl, toss together beets, 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste until beets are coated. Add to pouch and crimp remaining side to seal. (If using beets of multiple colors, roast in separate pouches.) Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Roast until beets are completely tender and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into a beet through foil meets little to no resistance, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel by gently rubbing skin under cold running water. Cut beets into 1 1/2–inch chunks. Beets can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the Horseradish Crème Fraîche: In a small bowl, stir together crème fraîche and horseradish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, tarragon, chives, shallot, and honey. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while stirring vigorously with a fork. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
To Serve: In a large bowl, toss beets with dressing. Spoon half of crème fraîche mixture on the bottom of a serving plate. Place beets on top and drizzle with remaining crème fraîche mixture. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve.