Fall weather seems to bring out in me a desire for earthy, comfort flavors. This recipe has grilled beets, grilled butternut squash and bleu cheese that definitely fits the bill. I like to call it my “Triple B Salad.” I love the contrast between the earthiness of the beets and the light, sweet flavor of the butternut squash. I decided to amp it up a bit by tossing the butternut slices in some warm spices to add another layer to the flavors. Read on for more on this recipe and why you’ll want to make it!
Yep, grilling beets. Not the type of grilling where you just wrap them in foil and roast them on the grill (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) No, I want grill flavor all throughout this dish. It’s pretty simple to do, if a little messy. I recommend wearing gloves so your fingers aren’t purple for days.
Simply cut off the top and bottom of the beet, then peel it using a veggie peeler. Now, slice the beets into thin circles. I found cutting a edge off to make a flat area helps to keep the beet stable when slicing.
You’re just going to toss these with a bit of olive oil, then put on a medium hot grill. They’ll take about 20 minutes to get tender but keep and eye on them through the process.
What about the butternut?
Pretty much the same handling as the beets. Simply peel the squash, then cut into slices and toss with olive oil. As you’ll see in the recipe below, I used spices on the butternut to add a little heat to the dish. Butternut will grill up nice and tender in about 10-12 minutes. Again, you’ll need to watch the slices to ensure they don’t burn.
Make sure to keep these separate until you’ve cooked them, or the beets will give your butternut purple spots. Flavor-wise it won’t matter, but I just like to keep the appearance better.
Finishing the salad
After cooking, cut the beet slices and butternut slices into smaller pieces. Add to a bowl and toss with more olive oil and fresh thyme (I’ve also made this with fresh basil, and it was good. Guess you could call it the “Quadruple B” then.)
Top with some really good bleu cheese crumbles, and voila, a wonderful side dish is served. I usually do this dish when I’m grilling and put it on before I cook the main dish. That gives me time to let it cool, chop and prepare it. I serve it at room temp or slightly warmer, and it’s always a hit.
As always, I hope you enjoy!
For the beets
- 3-4 purple beets peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick slices
- 1 TBS olive oil
For the butternut squash
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 TBS chipotle powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
To finish the salad
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves pulled from stems
- 2 tsp coarse finishing salt
- 3-4 oz bleu cheese crumbles
- 2 tbs olive oil
- For the beets, peel, slice, and coat with olive oil. Place on medium-hot grill for 20 minutes, turning occasionally to keep from burning.
- For the squash, peel, remove seeds and slice into 1/2" slices. Place in mixing bowl and add olive oil, sugar, salt, black pepper, chipotle, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat.
- Grill butternut for 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove beets and butternut from grill and allow to cool. Cut each into smaller pieces, then place in serving bowl. Add thyme and olive oil and toss to distribute. Sprinkle with finishing salt and bleu cheese crumbles and serve.