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Here’s an easy way to cook beets, no peeling required (the skins just slip off after boiling). They are then diced and topped with pickled red onions, and pistachios for a salad that’s earthy, tart, and crunchy in every bite.

Two Beet Salad with Pickled Onions and Pistachios

The small amount of sugar in the pickling mixture helps balance out the vinegar, but you can leave it out if you like. Serve this salad at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

  • 3 medium red beets, trimmed on both root and stem ends
  • 3 medium yellow beets, trimmed on both root and stem ends
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral white vinegar (rice, white wine, champagne)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ⅛” slices (as thin as possible)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Place beets and 2 teaspoons of salt in a medium saucepan; add enough cool water to cover, plus an extra inch of water. Bring beets to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beets are easily pierced with a fork or knife, approximately 45 minutes.

Combine ½ teaspoon salt, sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and water in a nonreactive container and stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Break up onion into individual slices and place in pickling liquid. If necessary add warm water to cover. Let sit for at least an hour before using. (Can be prepared ahead. Store refrigerated in pickling liquid).

When beets are fork tender, pour off liquid, run beets under cool water and gently rub the skin off the beets. Dice beets into ¼ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, and chopped pistachio nuts. Season with salt and pepper.

Place beet/pistachio mixture on a platter and garnish with drained pickled onions.

November-9-2014
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