Beet Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette
2 large beets
1 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 bunch watercress
1/2 cup pistachios (for toasting):
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, diced
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Cut the beets into a julienne (thin matchsticks) for the salad, reserving the rougher trimmings for the vinaigrette.
- Cook and chop the pistachios (see below)
- Rinse and dry the watercress
- Peel and thinly slice the shallots
- Blend the pistachios in a food processor with a pinch of salt until they form a smooth paste resembling peanut butter.
- Combine vinegar, pistachio butter, shallot, olive oil, salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with water and season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 325єF
- Spread the chopped pistachios onto a sheet pan and season with the sugar and kosher salt.
- Toast for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the julienned beets with the toasted pistachios and two or three tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
- Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding the watercress.
- With the watercress added, toss the salad one more time to coat the watercress in the dressing.
- Spread a layer of mascarpone cheese in the center of each salad plate.
- Top with the beet salad.
Julienne is a French cooking term that simply refers to cutting a vegetable into thin matchsticks as opposed to a dice.