Beet slaw with pistachio butter and raisins
I was intrigued by the combination of beets and pistachios. I am also a huge fan of slaw, so I had to try this recipe. In addition, it is from one of my favorite cookbooks. This slaw completely breaks the mould, it is fresh, the pistachios add a decadent and creamy touch, and it explodes with flavors on your palate, a hint of spice, tart, sweet and earthy. The tartness is balanced perfectly with the rich and creamy pistachio butter that adds a nutty flavor. This should be the slaw that in on your Christmas table this year. This cookbook, as I have already mentioned, is one of my favorite cookbooks. The recipes are amazing, the play with vegetables are unique and every recipe is amazing. Like with this recipe, the chef has created unique combinations and flavors, something I admire. This cookbook is a must for any serious cook.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 lb beets, peeled; use a mix of colors if you can
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (about 5 ounces) pistachios, lightly toasted + 1 tablespoon for garnish
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons. extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the garlic, raisins and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour.
Grate the beets on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne, as I have. I prefer to cut the beets into small, matchstick sized pieces, either by hand or using a mandolin, purely for visual reasons.
Add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley and mint (save the rest for garnishing) and chile flakes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste. The slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss and taste again. I let the salad sit in the fridge for upto 4 hours, the vinegar has a chance to penetrate the beets and start pickling them In the mildest way. Meanwhile, make the pistachio butter. Lightly toast the pistachio nuts and cool completely. Process the pistachios by themselves in a food processor to get them as fine as possible. I find that if I add the other ingredients the butter does not get as smooth as I would like it. Add the vinegar and salt and the olive oil And process till smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides of the grinder to facilitate the grinding. Add water depending on how thick you want the butter, I tend to keep it thick like peanut butter. The thicker paste allows you to spread and coat the beets easily. Taste and adjust with more salt or vinegar. Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
To serve, spread a layer of pistachio butter onto each plate and top with the slaw. Finish with the reserved fresh herbs and a scattering of pistachio nuts.