Roasted beets and hazelnuts are tossed with fried panner and dressed with a creamy horseradish-dill dressing.
We’ve made it through the week. Huzzah!
Today’s recipe is from The Indian Family Kitchen, this month’s cookbook club selection. To be honest, I wasn’t very excited about the book. The recipes didn’t seem all that interesting, and overall it was a pretty tame take on Indian cuisine, borrowing some flavor, textures and ingredients from the traditional, but boasting few similarities to the food that my family friends make, the recipes I have in my own Indian cookbooks, or the selections found on Devon Avenue here in Chicago. But, once again, the potluck dinner that we had comprised of the book’s dishes hit all the notes and flavors and ended up a light and delicious summer meal. Perfect, if I’ll admit it.
I chose to make the Roasted Beet and Paneer Salad, mostly because it jives with salad season, partly because it touted roasted beets and a little bit because I’d never before cooked paneer. Here we go.
It’s a simple salad, but, like each dish we ate, nailed every sense: beets for earthiness, hazelnuts for crunch, paneer for protein, yogurt for creaminess, horseradish for kick, arugula for bite and honey for sweet. Really, the total package.
My favorite part of this salad had to be the dressing: so simple, and save for the fresh dill, made up everything that I had in my fridge. It’s the perfect go-to.
However, I’m sad to admit it, but my least favorite part of it was the paneer! I’ve only ever had it before drowning in sauce: a saag or a masala, and I realized that, even fried, it had very little taste itself. If I were to do it again, I’d throw in some grilled halloumi, similar in texture but way more in the way of taste.
Despite the unpleasing cheese, the salad gets high marks, got rave review from the peanut gallery and isn’t it just the prettiest salad?
Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
- 1 1/4 pounds beets, peeled and coarsely chopped into wedges
- 1 TB coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup whole, blanched hazelnuts
- 6 ounces paneer, cut into large bite sized pieces
- 2 TB plain Greek yogurt
- 1 TB horseradish sauce
- 2 TB fresh lemon juice
- 1 TB chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 cups arugula
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place the beets in a roasting pan and toss them with 1 TB oil, the mustard and ginger. Roast 30 minutes until cooked, but not soft. Add the hazelnuts and let toast an additional five minutes.
- While the beets are roasting, heat the remaining oil (or more if needed) in a skillet. Add the paneer and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the yogurt, dill, horseradish, honey, and lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the beets and nuts from the oven. Spread the arugula over a platter, and top with the beets. Serve with the dressing dolloped on top.