Quick pickled beets tossed with chive oil, feta cheese, and pepitas.
Quick pickled vegetables and fruits add accent notes to creamy entrées and create memorable sassy side dishes like this salad of roasted beets, feta and pepitas. For entrées, think pickled tomatoes added to creamy asparagus risottos or pickled apples tossed into a celery root mash like in these Vegetarian Cornish pastries. For a side dish, make this roasted beet salad.
If you want to turn this salad into a vegetarian entrée, just cook up some farro grain. While it’s warm, add the feta and chive oil so that the cheese melts a little. Feel free to add just a little chèvre. Just before serving, toss in the pickled beets and top with pepitas or pine nuts.
If you must have meat, like my Carnivorous Maximus husband, I recommend roasted pork loin or chicken as the entrée with this salad as a side (with or without the farro).
- Remove the beet greens and save them for another use, and slice off the tails. Place the beets in a microwave-safe bowl and toss in olive oil. Cover with plastic and microwave until tender (this takes about 15 minutes in my microwave).
- When cool enough to handle, Peel, dice and pile them into a jar. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, juice from the lemon, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour it over the diced beets and put a lid on the jar. Allow the beets to macerate in the pickling juice for 3 to 4 hours. Drain.
- Toss in the feta and Chive Oil. Top with pepitas or pine nuts.
- For a vegetarian entrée, add cooked farro grain.