Taproot Farm beets totally changed the game for me. Chef Mike Joyce turned me onto them when we worked together years ago and there was never any going back. This method for roasting the beets is a little unconventional as usually they are cooked whole- cutting the beets and adding aromatic turmeric root + garlic while they roast was a happy accident I stumbled upon at home.
If you don’t have curry or bay leaf don’t sweat it, just omit or add a fresh hard herb of your choice. This is meant to be served as a side dish and would go great with chicken or fish but can also be enjoyed as an appetizer or as part of a larger vegetarian spread.
I love the combination of beets with perfect, in season strawberries and here the mustard seed dressing adds nice textural contrast to the dish. Be sure to save the garlic and turmeric from roasting the beets and add it to the dressing for extra flavor!
Serves 2-4 as an appetizer or side dish.
4 ea red beets, medium sized, scrubbed, halved
4 ea golden beets, medium sized, scrubbed, halved
4 ea garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
2” pc turmeric root, fresh, peeled, sliced into rounds
2 ea fresh bay leaves OR fresh curry leaves
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoons salt
Pickled Mustard Seeds:
1 cups rice wine vinegar (can substitute any other light vinegar)
½ cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
For the Vinaigrette:
¼ cup pickled mustard seeds, from above, cooled
All – garlic & turmeric from roasted beets in recipe above
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 pinch red chili flake
1 pinch kosher salt
¼ cup EVOO
To Finish The Dish:
¼ cup greek yogurt (optional)
6 ea strawberries, hulled, sliced
3-4 ea mint leaves
3-4 ea basil leaves
½ ea lemon, seeds removed
As needed EVOO, for finishing
Method + Assembly
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine the beets, garlic, turmeric, herbs, EVOO and salt in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a large sheet of foil and wrap the mix tightly. Wrap one more time with a fresh piece of foil, place onto a baking tray in the oven. Cook until tender, roughly 45-60 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- When beets are cooked remove from foil pack and allow to cool slightly then peel and cut into bite size wedges. Reserve the turmeric and garlic for the vinaigrette.
Pickled Mustard Seed Method:
- Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook on low for 30 minutes, adding more brine as needed if the seeds absorb more than expected. There should still be a nice semi thickened brine left in the pan at the end of cooking. The seeds will also be plump and taste nicely sour.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Store any extra covered under refrigeration for up to 2 months.
Mustard Seed Vinaigrette Method:
- Combine the pickled mustard seeds, roasted turmeric and garlic, lemon juice, salt and red chili flake in a medium sized bowl. Be sure to break up the roasted alliums as you whisk the mix together.
- Slowly drizzle EVOO into the bowl while constantly mixing until the vinaigrette comes together.
- Check seasoning and adjust if needed. Set aside until ready to plate.
- Any extra can be stored in the fridge for a couple days.
- Choose a large flat serving platter that you enjoy. This is a family style situation.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the beets and herbs and dress to your liking with the mustard seed vinaigrette. Add a good pinch of kosher salt, mix well, taste then adjust seasoning if needed.
- Place a dollop of yogurt on the serving platter (optional) then transfer the beets right on top.
- Place sliced strawberries pieces all on top of the beets.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice evenly over the beet salad then drizzle with a little extra EVOO if you’d like.
- Serve immediately.
George Sabatino is a Philadelphia chef who is dedicating his career to developing vegetable focused dishes, with special attention to sourcing locally and treating all ingredients (and their journeys from farm to table) with respect and purpose.