Beet Salad with Parsley Pesto (gluten-free, meatless)

beet salad gluten free

This weekend, I spent a lot of time preparing to garden. You see, up until late last week, our area was still under a frost warning. As a result, I’d been putting off the actual planting and had somehow come up with a dream garden that was far beyond the capacity of any of my current beds (most of which, sadly, are in shade).

So, I built a raised garden bed that I hope our landlord won’t notice and installed a cold frame along the side of the house and started to dream about what I’d fill them with. The raised bed is at the side of our yard, ideally positioned to catch the maximum amount of sunlight possible. As soon as I can find someplace that will sell me a truckload of soil, I am filling that baby up with tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and bell peppers.

And, of course, beets.

I cannot get enough of these root veggies, and my dog even feels the same way. Some people, namely my fiance, think they taste like dirt. I don’t know that he’s wrong, exactly, but to me they taste earthy, like springtime and rain and, okay, soil. But in a good way.


This recipe is adapted from The Roasted Root, which would explain why I screwed up and thought that I needed to roast the beets instead of slicing them raw, like Julia did. I agree that this would have been the way to go if I had owned a mandoline, but I don’t, so roasting definitely helped make my thicker beet slices more palatable.

You’ll note I also could not find striped beets and made do with the more ordinary red beets. However, since I roasted the red ones and the golden ones together, I did end up with kind of a special sunset coloration…which, if I had done it on purpose, would have been pretty cool.

The parsley pesto brings out the freshness of the beets while the parmesan cheese and cashews add a little more fat, and therefore, flavor. If you’re paleo, I imagine the pistachio pesto in this recipe could work just as well.

Otherwise, this recipe is primal (which I define as “paleo plus delicious, delicious cheese”), gluten-free, and meatless. Hopefully next time I make it, I’ll be able to enjoy beets straight from my own garden.

Beet Salad with Parsley Pesto
  • 1 red beet
  • 1 golden beet
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp raw cashews
For Pesto
  • 1 bunch parsley, torn
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Trim tops and bottoms of beets and wrap in two layers of foil. Roast beets for an hour and a half. Let cool, then rub off skins. Slice veeeeeeery thinly and arrange on a plate.
  2. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until very smooth. Add more olive oil if desired.
  3. Crumble goat cheese over arranged slices; top with cashews and drizzle pesto over. Serve, and enjoy.
  1. This makes extra pesto — save to stir into risotto, pasta, or whatever you like! Also makes a great pizza sauce.

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