Recipe: Beet "Ambrosia"

Recipe: Beet "Ambrosia"

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Meghan Splawn
May 30, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You know what I love? Being surprised by a familiar ingredient or an old recipe. This beet ambrosia does both. Ambrosia is typically a sweet fruit salad studded with marshmallows and chopped nuts, dressed with a sweet, creamy dressing. Beet ambrosia takes its visual cues from traditional ambrosia, but is decidedly savory.

A bite of this beet ambrosia is like a bite of the classic beet and goat cheese salad, but easier to eat. The beets are tender and soaked with a vinaigrette, but sweet grapes and salty pistachios keep the salad in balance. The dressing is rich and herby, with a whipped texture and a tanginess, thanks to goat cheese.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This beet ambrosia is an easy weeknight side dish or pretty potluck dish, especially if you use pre-cooked or leftover roasted beets. Chopping the beets and grapes into bite-sized pieces not only makes this salad prettier, but it also makes it easier to eat.

Whipped Cream Dressing

The heavy cream for this ambrosia's dressing is whipped and seasoned with just a bit of mustard and salt and pepper. It's important to avoid over-whipping the dressing and over-stirring the finished salad, so gently fold the two together to keep it light. Make this dressing the day you plan to serve it, as the dressing will deflate after an overnight stint in the fridge.

Beet "Ambrosia"

Serves 4 to 6

For the ambrosia:
1 pound roasted beets, peeled and cubed
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shelled, salted, roasted pistachios
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (6 leaves)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese

Place the beets, grapes, pistachios, and mint in a large bowl; season with the vinegar, salt, and pepper; and gently toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream to medium peaks. Fold in the mustard and salt and season with pepper. Add the whipped cream to the bowl with the beets, but don't stir yet. Top with the goat cheese crumbles. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the beets until well-coated. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Roasting beets: Here's our favorite way to roast beets in the oven. Some stores sell precooked beets in the produce section.
  • Storage: Leftover ambrosia can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
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