For the Roasted Beets
10 ounces white sugar beets (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash, peel, and roughly chop the beets into 1-2” pieces. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, giving them a stir halfway through. Set aside.
Note: alternatively, you can bake or boil the unpeeled beets until tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool then peel or slice off the skins, and cut into 1-2” pieces.
For the Arugula Mint Pesto
(makes approximately 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup (1 ¼ ounces) packed arugula
¼ cup (.15 ounces) packed mint
¼ cup toasted walnuts
Juice from ½ lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
Food Processor Method:
Combine garlic and a big pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add your olive oil and process, scraping down the food processor as necessary. Add the arugula and mint, and process until finely chopped and becoming relatively smooth. Add walnuts and process until finely chopped and integrated. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and thin with additional olive oil to reach the consistency of a semi-thick yogurt. Whisk in lemon juice (see note). Season to taste with salt and additional lemon, as needed.
By Hand Method:
Grate garlic into a medium bowl and add a big pinch of salt. Add oil and whisk with a fork to combine. Very finely chop your herbs and walnuts and whisk into the oil mixture. Thin with additional olive oil to reach the consistency of a semi-thick yogurt, and add the lemon juice (see note). Season to taste with salt and additional lemon, as needed.
Note: leave out the lemon juice unless you plan to use all the pesto in a few days (this will help it keep longer; 5 days or longer). Store the pesto in an air-tight container with a drizzle of olive oil on its surface, and add in the lemon juice to taste just before using.
To Assemble & Serve
3-4 ounces arugula
2-3 ounces (1-2 small) white sugar beets, washed and peeled
Roasted beets (above)
Arugula Mint Pesto (recipe above)
2 ounces blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Shave the beets using a microplane (carefully!) or slice very thinly with a sharp knife. Combine with the roasted beets and toss in a small bowl with a spoonful of pesto and squeeze of lemon juice. In a separate bowl, toss arugula with a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of salt. Arrange on a serving plate, and top with a mix of roasted beets and shaved beets. Crumble the blue cheese over everything, and drizzle some of the pesto on top. Sprinkle with flaky salt and a bit of black pepper. Serve immediately.