Cherubs and chocolate treats are cute and all, but identifying and seizing opportunities to love yourself are about a thousand times more crucial in the greater scope. I used to think that even a mere reflection on self-love was a waste of time because I could be doing work and accomplishing real, tangible things that I would probably love more. My line of thought on this has veered to the other side. If you want to go after the things you want, it seems you also have to be mindful enough to give yourself the strength to take it all on first. There are plenty of opportunities to build yourself up and now, I find these moments in all manners of ways.
Food and nourishment are obvious pathways! It’s nice (and deeply privileged) to look into your fridge after a grocery day, see the different colours and textures, and then remember that it’s all for you and the wellbeing of those you keep close. It’s equally nice to look into your fridge, see nothing but various hot sauces and lightly wrinkled scraps of vegetables, turn to your pantry and somehow make a meal out of it. In the realm of cooking at home, that’s when I’m most proud.
And then there’s these beets with pistachio butter. I bought the bunch at my fave local grocery shop and the cashier asked me if you could eat the tops/greens. I was so pumped that she even asked me that! Those greens flopped out the top of my canvas bag and just the sight of that was enough to make my day. I knew I wanted to pair them with citrus and pistachios. Some winter brightness vibes with deep roots.
A couple years ago, Mark and I had dinner at a cozy restaurant in New York. We started with this big plate that had a little bit of each vegetable-based antipasti they were serving. There was one simple heap of roasted and diced beets with a bit of balsamic vinegar and a dollop of pistachio butter on top. So simple and good. I had been meaning to do a little remix of that tasty bite for a while, and here we are.
I roasted my beets with grapefruit juice and sherry to brighten them up. I lightly sauté the beet greens, finishing them with even more grapefruit juice before chopping them up and adding them to a hearty base of white beans. Then there’s that pretty green blanket of pistachio butter and a sprinkle of crushed pink peppercorns to finish–they offer a gentle heat that I always enjoy with citrus and sweeter vegetables.
GRAPEFRUIT-ROASTED BEETS WITH GREENS, WHITE BEANS & PISTACHIO BUTTER
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: The pink peppercorns aren’t totally necessary. Just finish it with some fresh black pepper, or even a pinch of flaky salt. Also, some kind of briny, pickled component wouldn’t be out of place on top of this–like some capers or pickled red onions if you’ve got them around.
3-4 beets with greens, peeled + greens separated
splash of sherry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
juice from half a grapefruit
salt + pepper
1 cup raw + shelled pistachios (+ extra for garnish)
2 cups white beans
the beet greens
the juice from half a grapefruit
salt + pepper
1-2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the beets into 1 inch wedges and place them in a glass baking dish. Add the splash of sherry vinegar, grapefruit juice, a nice slick of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the beets evenly. Cover the dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes or until the beets give when pierced with a small knife. Uncover the beets, toss them around and roast them for 5-10 more minutes, just to evaporate some of the juices.
While the beets are roasting, make the pistachio butter. Place the raw pistachios in a food processor or high speed blender. Gradually pulse or blend until you have a smooth paste, scraping down the sides here and there with a spatula. I had to add some olive oil at one point to get the motor of my blender moving a bit. Once you have a smooth paste, scrape the butter into a small bowl. Stir in a pinch of salt and a little extra olive oil to get it to a slightly runny consistency. Set aside.
Heat some oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beet greens and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the grapefruit juice. Keep tossing them until all of the greens are lightly wilted. Remove from the pan and chop them up. Toss the chopped greens with the white beans, some extra olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay the beans + greens on the base of your serving plate. Arrange the roasted beet wedges on top and finish the plate with some spoonfuls of pistachio butter. Garnish with the pink peppercorns and extra chopped pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.