Print

Roasted Beets, Avocado, and Sunflower Seed Salad

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Beets, with greens attached
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed roughly chopped flat-leaf basil leaves
  • 4 scallions, sliced at a sharp angle
  • 1/2 cup pickled peppers, lightly packed, seeded, and chopped such as pepperoncini
  • 2 firm-ripe avocados

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Trim the tops and bottoms off the beets. Wash the greens and let dry. Rinse and scrub the beets to remove any mud or grit. Cut up any larger beets so that they are all about the same size.

  3. Put the beets in a baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate all of them in a single layer. Season with salt, then pour ¼ cup water into the dish. Cover tightly with foil and steam roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Depending on the size, density, and age of the beets, this could take between 30-60 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, if you have beet greens to cook, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil, add the beet greens, and toss them until they are wilted and a bit stewed, about 5 minutes. Set aside until cool, then chop through them a few times.

  5. When the beets are tender, let them cool until you can handle them, then rub or pare away the skins. Cut into ½-inch wedges or chunks and pile into a bowl. Add the greens.

  6. While the beets are still warm, sprinkle with the vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and many twists of black pepper. Toss to distribute the seasonings and let the beets absorb the vinegar for a few minutes. Add a healthy glug of olive oil and toss again. Let the beets sit at room temp until you’re ready to serve.

  7. To assemble for serving, add the sunflower seeds, parsley, scallions, and pickled peppers and toss gently. Peel the avocados and cut them into neat chunks that are about the same size as the beet wedges, and add them to the beets, too. Toss thoroughly but very gently, so you don’t mash the avocado too much. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper, vinegar, or oil. Serve right away.

Recipe Notes

Special Note—Always dress cooked roots and potatoes while they’re still warm. The acidic ingredients will be absorbed more deeply, making your final dish nicely bright.