This colorful beet side dish is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in NYC’s West Village.
Whenever anyone asks me where to eat in New York City, my go-to answer is Rosemary’s. It’s an Italian restaurant with some of the best homemade pasta and focaccia I’ve ever had, along with local produce and pasture-raised meats. It’s spacious – as compared to most West Village (my favorite eating neighborhood) restaurants – and has a cozy, rustic decor. In the daytime, it’s flooded with natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, while in the evening, it’s all about the warm string lights and candles.
Their Italian wine list is exhaustive – although I personally know little about wine and usually just order the cheapest option. #sorrynotsorry
In case you’re wondering, Rosemary’s is as good for brunch as it is for dinner, and as great for a hot date as it is for a meal with your parents. And if all of that is not enough to convince you, I’m gonna go ahead and share that I once saw Emma Stone having lunch there, which basically means I had lunch with Emma Stone, which is pretty impressive.
After the fluffy focaccia and chewy handmade orecchiette, my favorite thing to order there is this beet side dish. It consists of tiny rainbow beets dressed in olive oil and herbs and topped with fragrant roasted hazelnuts. The dish is so simple yet so good – the perfect example of the fact that good ingredients don’t need much in order to shine.
I was excited to recreate this beet side dish for ya’ll since it’s the perfect addition to any holiday table – and the festive red color is so à propos. If you’re intimidated by cooking beets, it’s really as simple as any other root vegetable or tuber – you can roast, steam, or boil them.
Another reason to try beets is that they’re a superfood – and a very affordable one at that. They contain loads of minerals like folate and potassium, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets are known to aid the liver in detoxing the body and some studies even suggest that beets inhibit cancer cell growth.
The hazelnuts are crucial to the success of this beet side dish. You can buy them pre-roasted, but please believe me when I tell you that roasting them yourself makes a huge difference.Print
Intimidated by cooking beets? This simple beet side dish is the perfect starter recipe and a beautiful addition to any holiday table.
- 1 1/2 pounds baby rainbow beets, scrubbed (See Note #1)
- 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts (See Note #2)
- About 7 large basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
- About 1–2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- About 1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- About 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the beets in a medium pot and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar until the beets are tender, about 25 minutes (large beets may take up to 45). Drain the beets and run the pot under cold water. Let the beets stand in cold water until they’re cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, arrange the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. If your hazelnuts still have the skins on, place the freshly-roasted nuts on one end of a kitchen towel and cover with the other end. Roll them under your palms to remove the skins. It’s okay if all the skins don’t come off.
- When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and set aside.
- Return to the beets: at this point the skins should be easy to slip off with your hands (wear gloves if you don’t want your fingers to turn red).
- Cut the beets into 1-inch chunks and place in a bowl. Add the basil and most of the hazelnuts, and season to taste with the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining hazelnuts.
- Beautiful rainbow beets can be found at the farmers market. If the farmers market isn’t practical for you, feel free to use regular supermarket beets.
- The hazelnuts are crucial to the success of this recipe. You can buy them pre-roasted, but roasting them yourself makes a huge difference. You can typically find raw hazelnuts at the bulk bin section of any store. Blanched raw hazelnuts are best because the skins have already been removed. If you can’t find blanched, you may remove the skins by rolling freshly roasted hazelnuts under your palms in a kitchen towel.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 179
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 4.4 g