The beets were roasted with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Once removed from the oven and cool, they were peeled and sliced. A vinaigrette was made with shallots, Banyuls vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. I was intrigued by the use of Banyuls vinegar, and I have another recipe that recommends it as well, so I splurged on purchasing a bottle even though it’s an expensive vinegar. It’s a French vinegar made from sweet wine, and the flavor is milder than typical red wine vinegar. Its taste is closer to wine than vinegar usually is but there is some acidity. Certainly, this salad would also be delicious with a vinaigrette made with another red wine vinegar, but the flavor of the Banyuls was very nice here. The vinaigrette was set aside while the parmesan dressing was made by warming cream, adding shredded parmesan, and stirring until smooth. There was supposed to have been some thyme in the cream and parmesan mixture, but my plants failed to survive the summer heat, and I forgot to buy thyme at the grocery store, so I skipped it.
The salad was assembled by placing the sliced beets on a platter, the warm parmesan cream dressing was spooned onto the beets, and then some arugula micro greens, and any baby greens could be used here, were strewn about on the warm dressing. Those greens were drizzled with the shallot vinaigrette, and last but certainly not least, some chopped pistachios were added. This could be the dish to change the minds of all the beet haters out there. If it’s the earthiness of the beet root that they object to, then they should taste beets with this simple, warm, parmesan dressing. The richness blends with the flavor of the beets in a lovely way, and the greens and vinaigrette perk up the salad and keep it from being too heavy while the pistachios add crunch and one more layer of flavor. I already like beets, but trust me, this is a really, really good beet salad.