Recipe: Chopped Badger Flame Beet Salad with Herbs, Castelvetrano Olives, and Pistachios
A Wordloaf extra
Posting this directly to the website, because it isn’t a bread recipe, but I still wanted to share it with you all. (The second recipe in the series will be a bread.)
I first heard about Row 7 Seeds a few years ago when I grew some of their Habanada peppers (chiles with all of the flavor of habaneros but zero of the heat) and made some amazing "not" sauce with them. So when they approached me to develop a few recipes using some of the organic, regionally-grown vegetables they were introducing to Boston-area Whole Foods shops, I happily said yes, figuring the produce would be interesting and flavorful. And I was not wrong.
My first recipe uses Row 7’s Badger Flame beets, which were selected to amp up the root veg's natural sweetness while eliminating its sometimes polarizing earthiness. The result is a gorgeous, fire-streaked golden beet with an apple-like juicy-crisp texture and a carrot-like sweetness, making it perfect for eating raw (something I already love to do with beets generally). They are delicious enough to eat out of hand, or in a salad, as here. (I had to run to the store for more of them after I munched my way through half of the bag I’d intended to use in the recipe.)
The recipe uses a technique I often employ with carrots: blitzing them in a food processor to a fine-textured, cracked wheat-like consistency, something that takes no more than 10 seconds once the beets are peeled and cubed. (Incidentally, it works with any crunchy root veg you might eat raw.)
Chopped Badger Flame Beet Salad with Herbs, Castelvetrano Olives, and Pistachios
Serves 4 as a side dish
Badger Flame beets are extremely juicy, so do not over-process them, or they will begin to liquify. It’s fine if there are a few larger pieces mixed in here and there.
For the same reason, don’t let this salad sit long before serving it or it can get watery.
Obviously, this recipe will work with other types of beets if Badger Flames aren’t available in your area. (Red beets make for a particularly lurid salad.)
1 1/2 pounds Row 7 Badger Flame beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup (20 grams) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
1/3 cup (20 grams) finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
1/2 cup (60 grams) pitted Castelvetrano (or other cured green) olives, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more for seasoning
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed in a mortar and pestle (or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/3 cup (40g) shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped, divided
Place the beets in a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to process until the beets are mostly evenly broken down into pieces the size of cracked wheat. Transfer the beets to a large mixing bowl along with the parsley, cilantro, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, coriander seed, and half of the pistachios, and stir until well combined. Season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the remaining pistachios, and serve.