Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette |

Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette

Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into Simply Scratch. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you! 

If you’ve been hanging around these parts for a while, then you know my motto with respect to cooking: everything can be improved with alcohol.

Wait! No! I’m kidding.

{sort of}

Instead, what I meant to say is that I firmly believe that using real, whole and fresh ingredients is the cornerstone to creating delicious tasting meals. It’s something that I’m truly passionate about. And it’s one of the main reasons that I started this blog in the first place.

Today, I’m proud to be part of a community of so many like-minded individuals who are similarly committed to making and sharing quality recipes. Individuals who have become not just my colleagues, but also my friends. One of those individuals is Laurie McNamara.

Laurie’s blog has been a favorite of mine for years now. Her recipes are always on point. And she is the absolute master of the process shot. Seriously. Go and peak at any single one of her posts and you’ll see just what I mean. Laurie documents almost every single step in the making of a recipe, so you know EXACTLY how things should look. She makes cooking feel do-able and 100% approachable.

When Laurie announced that her debut cookbook, Simply Scratch: 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy, was coming out this Fall, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I knew her cookbook would be a winner. And guess what? I was totally right.

Simply Scratch is filled with gorgeous photos, easy to follow recipe instructions and plenty of little anecdotes from Laurie’s life (which I love to read because I’m nosey!) that will make you feel like Laurie is right there in the kitchen with you. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how uncomplicated and unfussy her recipes are. News flash: you absolutely DON’T have to spend a million hours in the kitchen to make meals completely from scratch!

One of my favorite chapters in Simply Scratch is the one on Condiments and Staple Pantry Items. Full disclosure: this is an area where I sometimes take shortcuts in my own kitchen. But Laurie now has me convinced that I absolutely need to be making my own ketchup and seasoning blends at home!

Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette |

Today I’m sharing Laurie’s recipe for Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette. Roasted beets are one of my favorite vegetables and Laurie jazzes them up just enough here with a flavorful parsley, scallion and walnut pesto, a little red wine vinegar and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and flaky sea salt. It’s a colorful, simple side dish that is totally worthy of your Holiday table.

I’m also super excited to be able to give away a copy of Simply Scratch to one lucky Floating Kitchen reader! Scroll down past the recipe to check out all the details of the giveaway and enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck! Update: This giveaway has ended and a winner has been selected. Thanks to all who participated!



This recipe was reprinted from Simply Scratch by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2015, Laurie McNamara.

Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette

Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette


  • For the Parsley Pesto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 5 scallions (light green and dark green parts only), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • For the Roasted Beets
  • 1 1/2 lbs medium beets (about 8-10), trimmed and scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup Parsley Pesto
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. Make the parsley pesto. In a small dry skillet over low-medium heat, toast the walnuts for about 3-5 minutes, or until they become fragrant. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the toasted walnuts, garlic, parsley, scallions, Parmesan cheese, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper until coarsely chopped. With your food processor running, stream in the olive oil, stopping halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired, and continue processing until smooth.
  3. Transfer the pesto to a small airtight container and drizzle with enough olive oil to create a thin layer on top. Cover and store in your refrigerator. This recipe makes more pesto than you’ll need for the roasted beets. The leftover pesto will keep for 2-3 months when stored properly in your refrigerator. Try it on pasta or as a sandwich spread!
  4. Roast the beets. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Divide the beets among two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil (if you are using different colored beets, keep them separated to preserve the colors). Seal the edges of the foil to create packets and place them directly on your oven rack. Roast for 45-60 minutes. The beets are done when they can be pierced easily with a small pairing knife. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. While the beets are roasting, whisk together the pesto and vinegar. Set aside.
  6. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the beets under running water using your hands or a kitchen towel to gently rub the skin off each beet. Quarter the peeled beets and transfer them to a bowl. Gently toss with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the pistachios and sea salt. Serve immediately.

28 comments on “Roasted Beets with Parsley Pesto Vinaigrette”

  1. Hahaha! While I totally, 100% agree with your second motto, I like your first motto better. I agree 120% with the first one. 😉 Te-he-he (… where’d I put the bourbon?). Anyways, Simply Scratch is a great blog, and you are right – Laurie has the process shots down to a T! I don’t have enough patience for that stuff. Plus I’m always hungry, so I must rush through photos. Oops?
    Anyways, LOVING these roasted beets! SO gorgeous and that parsley, scallion and walnut pesto sounds ahhh-mazing! This would be a great holiday side.. or a great snack for me (because who wants to share?). Pinning! Cheers, girlfriend!

  2. Ohh I wasn’t a beet lover until lately, but I am in LOVE with that pesto. Also, please keep your booze related motto, because that one is SO true 🙂

  3. LIZ! First of all, thank you so much for reviewing a copy, making a recipe, hosting a giveaway and writing up such a lovely review! Your photos are always stunning and I especially love how the beets match the book! 😉 From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!! XoXo

  4. Beautiful dish and a fabulous sounding cook book! Love her blog and will definitely add the book to my Christmas wish list 🙂

  5. I love beets! The vinaigrette sounds awesome- pinning!

  6. We absolutely loveeee roasted beets at our house! And with that parsley pesto??? That sounds incredible! So pretty too!

  7. I was not a fan of beets until I roasted them. Now I love them. I must try this pesto topper on beets.

  8. Sounds like a great book! And this recipe- wowza! I love the flavors in that pesto, and beets are hands-down my favorite vegetable. Gorgeous photo, btw!

  9. Liz, I’m with you on using real, whole and fresh ingredients!!! It’s one of the main reasons that I started my blog too!!!! I’ll have to check out Laurie’s new cookbook! from the looks of it, it looks amazing!!!! So many fabulous cookbooks out there right now!! And I love this roasted beets recipe! WOW!!!! beautiful!

    • Yes, there are SO many amazing cookbooks just out or coming out soon. I want them all. I’m going to have a very long list for Santa this year! 🙂

  10. I love cooking with fresh, wholesome and seasonal ingredients! I need to go check out Laurie’s blog because these beats look absolutely divine! I love roasted beets, and I adore pesto. So this recipe was basically made for me 😉

  11. I’m with ya, Liz…on several points here. Improved with alcohol (yes!) and seasonal cooking! YES!! Thank you for the intro to Simply Scratch! I’ve not been to Laurie’s blog, but I need to make a visit. And her book sounds just like what I’d love…and these beets. Oh my goodness with a parsley pesto vinaigrette? They sound amazing. I absolutely love beets, especially when their slightly sweet. And they’re so good right now! Thank you for sharing this delectable recipe Liz! 😀

    • Oh I know you’ll love this recipe, Traci. And I bet you’ll fall in love with Laurie’s blog as well! It’s definitely right up your alley! XOXO!

  12. I looooove roasted beets! They are seriously like candy to me. I can’t understand people who don’t like beets! They’ve obviously never roasted them. These ones sound amazing! Love the pistachios in there. 🙂

    • Same here! When people tell me they don’t like beets I think they are kind of crazy. Ha! I hope you try out the recipe, Jess. You’ll love it!

  13. This is gorgeous Liz! Love roasted beet…love pesto…what a spectacular combo!

  14. “Everything can be improved with alcohol…” I feel like I know you well enough by now to say that you are absolutely NOT kidding! Haha

    And these beets sound amazing w/ that pesto vinaigrette!!

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