Why this Beets and Citrus Salad with Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette Recipe should be Included in your Breakfast or Afternoon Meal
It’s been a while since I’ve written about food, cuisines and delicacies, so I thought I’d break the ice for a change. We’ve had hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria so I guess the east coast United States has experienced heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms. I hope and pray that we will all get through this soon, but in the mean time allow me to offer you some Ricotta and Pistachio salad recipe to chill while you’re waiting out the storms.
If you want to keep your salads fresh and tasty, then don’t make the exact same beet and citrus salad twice. Instead do a variation add some cream or cheese into the mix to get a new flavor, or you could also add caramel to the nuts to make them taste like candy when you eat them with the boiled eggs and bitter greens. While I have created the roasted beets, grapefruit, oranges, fresh ricotta, and a pistachio vinaigrette salad with a unique taste and blend, it is by no means different than the pine nut and beet-citrus salad that I make occasionally.
There are different ways that you can cook beets; however, I prefer roasting than boiling them as roasted beets give off more concentrated sweet and earthy flavor which tastes a lot better than boiled beets. One trick I tried was using a foil pouch to sort of steam and roast the beets at the same time, and boy did it gave the salad an amazing taste! Add some oil and a few herb springs together with the beets into the foil pouch and seal it, then put it inside the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and let it heat up to 1.5 hours. I know what you’re thinking – an hour and a half long for the beets to be in the oven and unsupervised is kind of a drag – but the good news is that you can do this a day ahead before you actually need to eat the salad. Just slide it into the fridge once it’s done cooking in the oven and get it out the next day after you’ve prepared the rest of the ingredients.
Use a granite mortar and pestle or knife to pound (gently and not pulverize them) the vinaigrette or cut them into tiny bits. Although using a knife might cause some inconvenience as you will be putting in more effort and it will take a much longer time to cut the vinaigrette into smaller pieces required for the salad dressing. So perhaps you will want to opt for the granite mortar and pestle over the knife.
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Including crushed nuts into the pounded vinaigrette helps form a stable emulsion rather easily. Pound some pistachios for garnish using the granite mortar and pestle, then whisk together the rest with minced shallots, lemon juice, honey, herbs, and extra-virgin olive oil.
As this salad comes with a citrus combo, then you can pick any kind of citrus fruits you like (depending on how you like the salad to taste). Meyer lemon, grapefruit, pomelos ad oranges are a good variety to give that bittersweet flavor to the salad. The amount of stringy pith that gets into the salad depends on how your properly cut the citrus fruits. And the key to doing that is to either cut the fruit into suprèmes, or slicing and peeling it crosswise in order to keep those individual bits of pith short.
You’ll Definitely Enjoy how the Beets, Citrus and Nuts Mixed with Cheese and Cream will Taste Like
Remember to coat the chopping board with a non-stick spray when you cut the beets, because the red beet juice tends to stick to things. It’s best to prepare for when cleaning up after won’t be as messy and you must also the red beet juice will turn your salad into a pinkish color if you don’t wash it firs. You must also put the beet last when adding all the ingredients to avoid this mistake.
After doing this, then spread a big spoonful of fresh ricotta cheese over the plate, line up the citrus and beets over the plate, and add more ricotta cheese on them. Mix the other remaining ingredients as dressing and sprinkle all of it with the pistachios that’s left.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 orange, cut into suprèmes or wedges, 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice reserved separately
- 1/2 cup (100g) fresh ricotta
- 2 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)
- 1/4 cup toasted shelled pistachios (about 2 ounces; 55g)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 grapefruit, cut into suprèmes or wedges, 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice reserved separately
- 2 tablespoons (about 15g) minced fresh parsley, tarragon, or chervil
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) honey
- 2 pounds (about 1kg) beets, unpeeled, greens removed, scrubbed clean
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) juice from 1 lemon
- 1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 ounce; 30g)
- Before cooking the beets for your salad, pre-heat the oven first at 375°F (190°C). Once you’ve done this, then prepare a sheet of aluminum foil (Reynolds Wrap or any other brand), it should be 12 x 24-inch with its surface area and fold it in half to form a square. Crimp two edges to form a pouch. If you’ve successfully made the pouch, then put the beets, olive oil (1 tbspn or 15 ml), salt and pepper, and thyme sprigs or rosemary. crimp remaining edge of the aluminum pouch to seal the bag, put inside a rimmed baking sheet, and then put it into the oven. Roast for about one and a half hours, then check if it’s completely tender by poking it with a toothpick through the pouch. If you meet no resistance, then that means it is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Peel off the beets’ skin once it’s cool enough by rubbing it gently under cold running water. Cut the beets into 1 and a half inch chunks and then store them in the fridge (you can store them for up to 5 days).
- Use a granite mortar and pestle to pound and pulverize the pistachios completely. Use only half of what you have and save the other half of the nuts for garnish.
- The next step is to add the citrus mix together in a large bowl; and this includes the lemon juice, grapefruit juice, shallot, orange juice, honey, minced herbs and the crushed pistachios and whisk them for a few minutes. Add another 45 ml of olive oil as well as salt and pepper and continue whisking.
- How to make the servings
Put the vinaigrette, citrus and beets in a large bowl and add salt and pepper (if you’re using red beets, then put them in the mix last to avoid getting that pinkish coloration that I talked about earlier). Use the remaining ricotta and spread them over a large plate, place dressed beets and citrus on top, spread the ricotta once more over them, and sprinkle the pistachios that’s left, then serve.