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Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Pistachio Pesto

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 main or 4 appetizer servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This twist on a Beet and Goat Cheese salad includes golden beets, goat cheese yogurt spread, pistachio pesto and toasted pistachios.



  • 3 medium golden beets (~12oz), trimmed of leaves & skin intact
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Lemon juice, as needed


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp pistachios
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


  • ¼ cup toasted pistachios (from above)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Goat Cheese Spread:

  • 4oz creamy, fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 56 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt (not Greek), or as needed
  • Kosher salt


  1. Cook beets: Add beets to a pot and cover with room temperature water. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until beets are tender. You know they’re tender when you can pierce them with a paring knife which slides out without effort. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly and peel. The skin should rub off easily with your hands. Slice in half lengthwise and cut into wedges. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Toast nuts: While beets cook, preheat oven to 350°F. Place nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toss in oil and season with salt. Bake for about 8 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Cool.
  3. Make pesto: In a food processor, add ¼ cup of nuts and garlic, and pulse until finely ground. Add basil, a couple teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pulse until finely chopped. If using a small food processor, add basil in stages and coarsely chop until all basil is added. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and pulse until well combined. Stir in lemon juice and add more salt, as needed.
  4. Make goat cheese spread: Add softened goat cheese to a bowl. Stir in yogurt 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time until desired spreadable texture is reached. Season with salt.
  5. Season beets: Toss beets with enough olive oil to coat, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt to taste.
  6. Plate: Dollop a large spoonful of yogurt onto serving plates, and spread using the back of the spoon. Top with beets. Drizzle over pesto, and sprinkle over reserved pistachios. Enjoy.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 1/4 beets, spread, pesto
  • Calories: 425
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 220mg
  • Fat: 38g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g

Keywords: beets, goat cheese, salad, pesto