This easy pesto is an awesome alternative use for all kinds of beets, showing off the sweet earthy flavor that can be used as a pasta sauce, spread for grilled bread or sandwiches, or just eating with a spoon! We used red beets here, but any type of beet would work. The pop of color this dish brings to the table is a showstopper, especially when served with bright green pea dip.
1 lb red beets, scrubbed and trimmed
½ cup walnuts
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
3-5 garlic cloves
Salt and fresh pepper
Preheat an oven to 450F, set to convection. In a roasting pan drizzle the beets with olive oil and rub it all over the skins. Sprinkle with salt and roast until fork tender (about 30-45min). Let cool, slip off the skins and roughly chop. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat dry. Toast the walnuts until they are fragrant and barely scorched. Let cool and roughly chop.
In a food processor add the beets, walnuts, half the cheese, garlic cloves, and the juice of half the lemon. Pulse until just evenly combined. Turn the food processor on and while it runs slowly drizzle about ¼ cup olive oil into the machine. Once combined, stop and taste. From here add the remaining cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. As the food processor runs drizzle olive oil slowly until the mixture becomes creamy and bright magenta. Be careful not to add too much olive oil, so taste as you go along until you reach your desired consistency.
Serve with grilled bread and crudités, over pasta or as a spread for sandwiches.