Roasted Beet Pesto

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We have totally talked about the color of beets before, yes? Are you done with that conversation? Okay, good. Me either. Check out that color! It’s like everything you ever wanted from a nail polish. Or lipstick. Or a pair of skinny jeans. (Maybe that last one is just me?) I’m on a newly found mission to incorporate beet-magenta into my life in new and interesting ways. I think that this beet pesto is a good place to start.

DSC_0393When I first saw this recipe, I thought for sure that the pasta itself was made with beets (like green spinach pasta). But, if you can believe it, it’s all from the pesto. The beets are roasted with olive oil and a little salt and pepper, then pureed with walnuts, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and (secret ingredient) a few roasted red peppers. I haven’t considered much more than pasta for the pesto, but it’s in the fridge in a little jar, waiting for inspiration. Whatever happens to it, I vote it involves goat cheese.

DSC_0395Here’s the recipe (adapted from takeamegabite.com–new fave blog)

for the pesto:
1 bunch beets
2-4 T olive oil
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw walnuts
3 little roasted red pepper pieces (about a Tablespoon)
1/4 t red pepper flakes

to serve:
13-16 oz. package pasta
crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, then trim and scrub the beets, put each one on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap them up and put them on a cookie sheet and into the oven for abut an hour or until you can pierce them with a fork. Take them out of the oven, carefully upwrap the top of the foil and let them sit for a few minutes to cool.

When the beets are cooled, slip the skins off, dice them and throw them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the olive oil, walnuts, red peppers, salt, and both peppers. Pulse until pureed. Taste and season until you like it!

Boil the pasta, then toss it with a couple of tablespoons of the pesto. Serve with crumbled goat cheese.

The pesto will last in an airtight container, for several weeks in the fridge.

DSC_0391P.S. You’ll have beet-stained hands. Go with it. We’re going to make it a fashion statement!

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