Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Warm Chioggia Beet and Apple Salad

Fresh Picked Chioggia Beets

I dashed out between rain showers yesterday to pick the first of my Chioggia beets. These beets have a more mild, less "beety" flavor that red beets. But, what I like most about them is that the color doesn't run, making them perfect for mixing with other ingredients that you don't want to come out looking pink. I had in mind a beet and apple salad that I've been making for years, but sheeze, it is was (still is) so dang cold, I wanted something warm. So, I kept the star ingredients, beets and apples, and came up with an entirely new dish.

Warm Chioggia Beet and Apple Salad

3 medium chioggia beets
about 3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 small (about 9 ounces) crisp tart apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
1 whole star anise seed head
salt to taste
white wine vinegar, something light and fruity

Trim the leaves and roots off the beets and wrap each beat individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the beets on a baking tray and roast at 400 F. for about 40 to 50 minutes until tender, depending on size. Carefully open the beet packets and run cold water over the beets, you should be able to handle the beets then by holding them under cold running water, rub the skin off the beets and set them aside to cool.

While the beets are roasting, heat a medium size skillet over medium heat. Toast the pine nuts in the hot skillet until they just start to brown. Remove the pine nuts from the pan and set aside to cool.

Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 16 wedges. Melt the butter in the skillet, add the apples, chopped shallot and star anise and saute over medium to medium low heat until the apples are tender. Set aside until the beets are finished roasting.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, cut them into wedges about the same thickness as the apples. Add to the skillet with the apples and add the toasted pine nuts. Saute to heat everything through. Season with a splash or two of vinegar and serve.

Serves 2 to 3.

I used a Spanish moscatel wine vinegar by Unio that is wonderfully light and fruity. If your white wine vinegar is very tangy, I would substitute rice vinegar. Also, if you can't find star anise, a pinch of dried tarragon would be good instead.


  1. Can I please come for dinner, please? The dish looks delish and when my beets come up I will be dining on this recipe.

    I'm going to shoot you an e-mail for I would love seeds from the leonotis and I may have some seeds you would enjoy. Stay Warm!


  2. I really need to stop by here more often:) Breakfast, lunch and supper, all pre-planned for me. This, as always, looks nice, and I'm sure, tastes great too:)Jan

  3. You meet such nice people blogging! Thanks for the compliments ang and Jan. I'll keep my eye out for the email ang.


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