blissful eats with tina jeffers: Carrot and beet salad with pistachio butter

I am fortunate to live in Portland with its amazing food and restaurant scene.  I get a lot of inspiration from dining out and trying new dishes that I’ve never seen before.  One of my new favorite restaurants, Ava Gene’s was picked this month as one of the Top 10 best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine.  They do amazing things with vegetables and when I had this carrot and beet salad I couldn’t wait to try and recreate it at home.  The most unique thing about this dish is that is tossed with a homemade pistachio butter that gives it an amazing rich, sweet nutty flavor.  Leftover pistachio butter can be sweetened with a little honey and used anywhere you would use peanut butter.   Visit me at during the rest of the week for more recipe ideas!


Carrot and beet salad with pistachio butter


Adapted from Bon Appetit




1 garlic clove crushed

¾ cup golden raisins

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

4 medium carrots, peeled, julienned

3 medium beets, peeled, julienned

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


for the pistachio butter


2 cups raw, shelled pistachios

¼- ½ cup hot water

pinch of kosher salt




Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread out the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 6-8 minutes.  Reserve ¼ cup of pistachios to garnish the salad.  Transfer the nuts and the salt to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.  Process until nuts form a smooth paste, 5-6 minutes adding the hot water to thin the mixture.  You may need to stop the processor once or twice to scrape down the bowl.  You can store the pistachio butter in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


Combine garlic, raisins and vinegar in a large bowl: let sit for 1 hour.  Remove garlic from raisin mixture and discard.  Add carrots, beets, reserved pistachios, mint, lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.  Add ¼ cup of pistachio butter and toss gently. 

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