Roasted Pickled Beet Salad with Fennel Slaw, Mango and Ricotta Salata

Menu PartSalad

Chef Nathan Lemley
Austin, Texas

Chef Lemley features beets prepared three ways in this salad: roasted, pureed and pickled in an Indian-inspired garam masala vinaigrette. To reduce food waste, the kitchen can use less-than-perfect beets for the puree and pickled versions. The salad is completed by topping it with fennel slaw and julienned fresh mango.


2 ½ lb. red beets, divided
1 1/3 cups red wine vinegar, divided
8 sprigs fresh thyme. divided
1½ lb. candy-striped or orange beets
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups water
6 oz. fresh chives, sliced (3/4 cup)
12 oz. fennel, thinly shaved (3 cups)
12 sprigs tarragon
1½ lb. ripe fresh mango, julienned (3 cups)
12 oz. ricotta salata, medium dice (1½  cups)

Garam vinaigrette
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp. garam masala or more, to taste
Salt, to taste

Lemon vinaigrette
¼ cup lemon juice
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp. minced shallot
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
¾ cup olive oil
Salt, to taste


1. Roast beets: Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 1½ pounds red beets in a pan with 2/3 cup red wine vinegar and 4 sprigs thyme. Place candy stripe beets in a separate pan with white wine vinegar and 4 sprigs thyme. Cover both pans with foil and roast until beets are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
2. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel off skins. Cut into bite size pieces, keeping varieties separate.
3. For beet puree: Peel and dice remaining 1 pound red beets. In large saucepan, combine beets with enough water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until completely tender.
4. Drain beets, reserving about ½ cup cooking liquid. Puree beets and reserved cooking liquid until completely smooth. Pour through a fine strainer or chinois; set aside.
5. To pickle candy-striped beets: Bring sugar, 2/3 cup water and 1 1/3 cups red wine vinegar to a boil over high heat. Pour the mixture over the roasted, peeled and diced striped beets. Cool; refrigerate until needed.
6. Prepare garam vinaigrette: In bowl, whisk oil and vinegar together. Whisk in garam masala and salt to taste. Toss red beets and striped beets separately with garam vinaigrette and chives. Season to taste.
7. Prepare lemon vinaigrette: In bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and salt. Whisk in oil and season to taste with salt.
8. Prepare fennel slaw: In large bowl, toss shaved fennel with lemon vinaigrette and tarragon; season to taste.
9. To assemble, per serving: Coat the insides of each salad bowl with about 2 tablespoons beet puree. Place ¼ cup red beets and ¼ cup pickled striped beets in each bowl. Top each with ¼ cup fennel slaw and 1 sprig tarragon. Garnish each with ¼ cup julienned mango and ¼ cup diced ricotta salata.

Photo courtesy of National Mango Board

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