Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Roasted Beet with Arugula Pesto Sandwich

I made a pizza the other night using similar ingredients from the roasted beet salad I've made many times. I topped the pizza with goat cheese, roasted beets and prosciutto and then served it with an arugula salad dressed simply with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Don't get me wrong, the pizza was very good, but this post is not about that pizza. Instead I wanted to write about what I did with the leftovers since this sandwich puts the pizza to shame. I would usually just toss the arugula and beets together and make a simple salad for lunch. I do enough cooking for dinners that I rarely put much effort into my lunch. But after a good workout at the gym, I felt inspired to do something more exciting for my midday meal. Since I love pesto, and know that it can be made with arugula, I decided to make a pesto to spread on a sandwich with the roasted beets. I wanted to also include the tangy, sweet taste of balsamic vinegar since I love the way it pairs with both beets and the peppery taste of arugula. Instead of just pouring it onto the sandwich and making the bread soggy, however, I chose to saute the beets in the vinegar, infusing them with the balsamic flavor, while also warming up the beets. Between the lightly toasted whole wheat bread, the sweet and tangy beets and the nutty, peppery pesto, this sandwich was pretty spectacular. Because beets take about an hour to roast, I recommend making a few extra for dinner some night when you want to make roast beet salad or use them on top of pizza, and then use the leftovers for this sandwich. Or make dinner a casual affair some night and serve up these sandwiches with a side of potato salad or mixed fruit.

Roasted Beet with Arugula Pesto Sandwich (makes 2)
  • 1-2 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup feta (I used a Mediterranean spiced feta)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup roasted beets, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
In a food processor or blender, combine arugula, feta and pine nuts. Reserve a few arugula leaves to garnish each sandwich. Process to combine ingredients.
Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil and blend till smooth. If too thick, add a bit more oil. Season with a pinch of black pepper.
In a small saute pan, heat a couple drops of olive oil.
Add beets and balsamic; season with salt and pepper and saute until vinegar is absorbed and beets are heated through, about 5 minutes.
Toast the bread; spread with arugula pesto and top with roasted beets; garnish with reserved arugula leaves and serve immediately.

For a printable recipe click here

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