Beet and Frisee Salad with Smoky Pistachio Dust

For the smoky pistachio dust:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and cooled completely
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 12 small chioggia beets, scrubbed clean
  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Frisée, rough-chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Cucumber, unpeeled, diced

Make the smoky pistachio dust: Grind all pistachio dust ingredients in a full-size food processor fitted with the metal blade for about 30 seconds, until dusty. Store in a tightly sealed jar on the counter.

Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut off the leafy tops from the beets, leaving 1/2-inch stem. Rub the bulbs gently with a bit of olive oil. Place in an oven-safe glass baking dish, with some room between each one. Cover tightly with foil. (Alternately, roast the oil-slicked beets in a foil packet on a baking sheet.) Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out with little resistance. Cool completely. Peel with a paring knife. Dice.

In a jar, toss the diced, cooled beets with a splash of white wine vinegar, 2 generous pinches of sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. (Beets may be stored, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to one week, if desired.)

Make the salad: Combine the frisée, avocado, cucumber, and some beets in a large salad bowl. Make a vinaigrette by whisking a few tablespoons of olive oil with about half as much of the beet-y vinegar from your jar (2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar). Season to taste.

Sprinkle the salad generously with pistachio dust. Serve.