Happy Wednesday friends!
First off – Thank you so much for all your kind words about the half marathon! How lucky am I to have such great friends, celebrating with me, from across the blogosphere! (hehe I love that word!)
Secondly – I have EXCITING NEWS for you guys! I have officially partnered with SeatGeek! They offer great deals on all your favorite event tickets! Concerts, sporting events, Broadway, comedy shows. And when you use the code BEAUTYBEYONDBONES at checkout, you get $20 OFF!! How great is that!? So there you go, friends 🙂
Any who – believe it or not, spring is right around the corner! It’s been in the 50’s all week in NYC, and 60 DEGREES on Sunday! What a day!
And whenever I think of spring, I always think of: PESTO. The color, the freshness – I dunno, but it just is the food equivalent of this gorgeous time of year!
SOO, I decided to create a dish the makes pesto the star of the show. Along with my other favorite food: BEETS! And this dish highlights them beautifully. What is it?
My Crimson Matchstick Mashup Salad!
Roasted red pepper and beet matchsticks topped with a luxurious broccoli/avocado/pesto cream! Simply delicious!
And it’s gluten free, vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!
Here’s what you need: (Serves 2)
2 large beets, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 bell peppers (red or yellow), cut into thirds
1 avocado, diced
1 cup frozen broccoli
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup pine nuts (or you can sub pistachios, but pine nuts are REALLY worth the splurge!!)
3/4 cup fresh basil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
Good chef’s knife (There is absolutely nothing more dangerous in the kitchen than a DULL knife. Investing in a high quality chef’s knife is absolutely the number one thing any home cook needs!! This is the one I use and recommend!)
Tin foil (I use nonstick and it is a gamechanger)
Steamer basket (Or pyrex measuring cup)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a tin foil-lined, olive oil-sprayed baking sheet, place the beet rounds and pepper thirds in a single layer. Spritz or toss with olive oil and bake for about 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Hit with salt and pepper when they come out of the oven.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli and peas, by either steaming in in a steamer basket, or nuking them in the microwave in 1/2 inch of water for about 3 minutes. Let cool, and then combine the steamed broccoli and peas with the rest of the pesto ingredients in your food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the sides several times.
When the beets and peppers come out of the oven, let them cool slightly, and then cut into matchsticks – about 1/4 inch thick. Finally, dice your other avocado.
To assemble, lay a bed of spinach on your plate. Top with the beet and pepper match sticks, and the diced avocado. Top that with your pesto cream. Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.
My goodness, how delicious was this dish?!
There’s something truly magical about roasted beets. The sugars caramelize and become intensely sweet with a wonderfully earthy tone. And same with the peppers! There’s a smokey sweetness to them too. So that sweetness paired with the fresh basil and bright lemon was just delightful!
And then the pesto cream! Good golly was this wonderful! The texture was creamy and rich from the avocado, yet surprisingly light and ethereal! It was the perfect texture compliment to the crunchy/chewy beets and crisp baby spinach. But oh boy – the avocado just took it over the top — so buttery and luxurious!
Finally, it was a stunning dish. The bright green pesto against the deep purple beets made this dish just jump off the plate!
A winner for sure!
What is YOUR FAVORITE springtime dish?
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