Marinated Beet and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Yogurt-Pistachio Dressing | CUESA

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Marinated Beet and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Yogurt-Pistachio Dressing


Charlie Ayers, Executive Chef at Calafia Café and author of Food 2.0.

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on September 18, 2010.

Serves 10


5 pounds golden beets with tops
5 pounds red beets with tops
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 bunch fresh dill
4 bunches fresh chives
Grain mustard
Champagne vinegar
1 ½ pounds pistachios
2 quarts organic yogurt
Onion powder
Ground cumin
10 pounds green zebra heirloom tomatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash beets, remove tops; wash, dry and reserve for later. Rub oil, salt and pepper on the beets, place on a sheet pan and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. Remove from the oven when you can pierce the beet with a toothpick. Set aside and allow to cool enough to easily peel.

  2. Meanwhile make a marinade with the chives, dill, grain mustard, champagne vinegar and olive oil. Peel the beets and dice into medium cubes. Mix beet greens along with diced beets with marinade and allow to rest; over night is best, however a couple hours will do.
  3. Toast the pistachios lightly, allow to cool, reserve some for garnish, and add the rest to a food processor.  Add in yogurt, onion powder, cumin, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Blend until pistachio-yogurt mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Slice the tomatoes, creating three nice slices for each plate. Add a small amount of pistachio-yogurt dressing on top of each tomato slice, followed by the marinated beet salad. garnish with toasted pistachios.


Photo by Barry Jan.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »