Beets are in season for most of the year and make a beautiful presentation in any dish. Here they’re paired with peppers for a pleasing variety in texture, flavor, and color.

Beets with Pecorino, Pecans, and Shishito Peppers

recipe by Nick Curtola for Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds mixed small-medium beets (red, golden, Chiogga), scrubbed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 8 shishito peppers
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Hot chili sesame oil and grated Pecorino (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss beets with 2 Tbsp. oil in a 13×9″ baking dish; season with salt. Add thyme and ¼ cup water. Cover with foil and roast beets until a paring knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub skins from beets with paper towels; cut into 1″ pieces. Toss in a large bowl with vinegar and 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt.
  2. Meanwhile, place peppers on one side of a rimmed baking sheet and pecans on the other side and roast, tossing nuts once, until peppers start to blister and pecans are slightly darkened and fragrant, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
  3. Toss peppers, pecans, and onion with beets; season with salt. Drizzle with chili oil and top with Pecorino. Makes 4 servings.
  4. Do Ahead: Beets can be roasted 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Cook’s Note: If using different types of beets, separate them when roasting and tossing to keep the colors from bleeding.

We’ve discovered the simplicity and versatility of shishito peppers this past season and we’re thrilled to use them in this dish! If you can’t find shishitos, padrone peppers are the nearest substitute but possibly even harder to find. Green bell peppers are the alternative. But I would be tempted to try poblano or cubanelle peppers.

In lieu of salty pecorino, you could use the more ubiquitous parmesan or any hard salty flavorful cheese like romano or manchego or even feta. I suspect that with a little added salt (like pecan smoked sea salt from Circle City Smoke), to counterpoint the sweetness of the beets and pecans, you could even use a fresh mozzarella, burrata, or ricotta.

Don’t forget to check out our recipe archive for more great beet recipes that can’t be beat!