recipe by Colin Shane, Arroyo Vino • photo by Stephanie Cameron

Charcoal-Roasted Beets

Recipe by Colin Shane, Arroyo Vino

  • 8 medium red and / or yellow beets with tops
        still on, if possible
  • 2 tablespoons toasted piñon or pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh horseradish, peeled and grated
  • 3 ounces goat chèvre
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • Spicy bitter greens (arugula, dandelion,
        watercress, etc.)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Mesquite charcoal

Fill your grill with the mesquite charcoal and light. Make sure there is a healthy amount of charcoal as you will need to bury the beets as best as possible in the charcoal coals. Allow charcoal to cook until it has slight white edges and embers have formed, about 20–30 minutes.

While the charcoal is cooking, cut the tops off the beets (about an inch from the top) and reserve any medium-small tender beet greens. When charcoal is ready, make a small nest with the coals; place the beets inside and cover with the remaining coals. (For an added smoky flavor, add some wood chips into the coals before starting the beets.)

Cook the beets for 30–45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes and re-covering with the coals as best you can until they have a black crust all over with small patches of white ash. They should be tender enough for a knife to penetrate but do not need to be fully cooked.

When ready, remove the beets from the grill and place into a metal or heat proof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the beets to steam and cool to room temperature in the covered bowl for 1–2 hours.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, gently rub off the black crust with your hands. They should be soft enough to easily penetrate with a paring knife. Cut into small wedges for a platter-style serving or chop fine into a tartare-style appetizer.

Toss the beets with the sea salt and cracked black pepper;  then toss with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, whole grain mustard, and piñons.

Place the beets on the desired serving plate. Using a microplane grater, grate the fresh horseradish over them, followed by a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar. Garnish with the chèvre, sliced apples, and the reserved beet greens and spicy greens.

This is how we serve them at Arroyo Vino, but feel free to add or omit anything you desire. The beets are great by themselves with just sea salt, olive oil, and a little balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

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