I normally cook my beets by steam roasting them. It takes a long time, but it makes them easy to peel. On my birthday I made a beet and lentil salad from The Palestinian Plate. It had beets roasted at a high heat, and the skin was left on. There was so much flavor that I knew I would give that method a go again.
This beet salad is inspired by Mexican flavors. The heat of the roasted poblanos and fresh serranos really complements the beets well. I originally wanted to do this salad with goat cheese, but then I realized avocado was the obvious choice.
Other than the avocado, which should be added shortly before eating, you can make this salad ahead of time. Enjoy at room temp or cold.
Roasted Beet Salad with Chiles and Avocado (Serves 4-6 as a side)
- 8 2-3inch beets (about 2 lbs)
- 2 oz olive oil
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 serrano pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 oz lime juice
- 2 T pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1-2 avocados
- Small handful of cilantro
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450F. Scrub beets thoroughly. There’s no need to peel, but if there are any deeper parts you can’t clean well, you can cut or peel those away. Toss the beets in 1 oz of olive oil and season with salt. Roast the beets on a sheet pan for about 35 minutes, until tender.
- Roast the poblanos. If you are lucky enough to have a gas range (I’m not), you can do them on the stove top. Otherwise, broil them on high, charring the skins on both sides. Cover them with a towel and cool until you can handle them.
- When the beets are done, allow to cool enough to handle. Thinly slice the serrano and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
- Finely grate or mince the garlic. Make your dressing by combining 1 oz lime juice with 1 oz of olive oil and minced garlic.
- Remove the tops of the beets, and cut the beets into 6-8 wedges. Remove the seeds and skins from the poblanos. Cut the poblanos in half around their equator, and then into quarter inch strips. Toss the beets and poblanos with the dressing. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- When ready to serve, cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces. Top the salad with avocado, pepitas, and picked cilantro leaves. (Alternatively you can chop the cilantro and use the leaves and stem!) Serve at room temp.
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