Roasted Pignoli Beet Salad

Kim of Affairs of Living and Ricki of Diet, Desserts and Dogs are a two brilliant food bloggers who have teamed up to offer the SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge blog event. Each month they extend the invitation to create delicious dishes based on one key ingredient. It can either be sweet or savory (or both). At the end of the month, submissions are gathered and posted in a roundup on their blogs! The resulting roundup offers a single stop where you can find a collection of yummy dishes to try.

My first entry in the SOS Kitchen Challenge is Roasted Pignoli Beet Salad. The key ingredient of the month being BEETS! Garlic lovers, this one is for you. This beet salad makes such an elegant side dish. Pignoli, or pine nuts, can be quite expensive, but you won't need a lot. You can stretch, or even replace, the pine nuts with walnuts.

Cube 3 steamed or roasted BEETS into 1/2" cubes (See NOTES for preparing beets)

Sauté over medium heat:

2 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
3 cloves smashed GARLIC

When garlic begins to brown, add:

1/3 cup PINE NUTS

Sauté, stirring constantly, until nuts begin to turn golden (be careful, they burn easily). Transfer nut mixture to food processor and pulse 5-6 times along with:

1 tablespoon LEMON JUICE
1 teaspoon AGAVE NECTAR (or honey)
1/8 teaspoon CELTIC SEA SALT (or to taste)

Gently mix beets and nut mixture. Serve warm or chilled.

NOTES: Two ways to cook beets.

Roasting Method:  Trim roots and tops off. Place in roasting pan with a little water. Cover and roast at 425˚F for 35-45 minutes or until tender. Let cool and slip off skins under running water.

Steaming Method: Trim roots and tops off. Place in pot with a couple of inches of water. Cover and steam 20-30 minutes or until tender. Let cool and slip off skins under running water.