Patzaria Salata—Beet Salad with Green Garlic Skordalia

January 14, 2015


For the Beets

Chef Jeff Fitzgerald likes to bury the beets in the coals from the wood-fired grill, letting them roast until they are tender. A good gauge as to whether they are done is a bamboo skewer: If it pierces the beet easily and slides out without resistance, the beet is done.

If you don’t want to fuss with coals, the beets can be wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven at 300° for about an hour. Check the cooking progress at 30 minutes and then again every 15 minutes until the beets are good and tender.

Once cooked, remove the beets from the oven and let cool.

Wearing a pair of latex gloves, gently rub the skins off the beets and discard. Once peeled, break the beets up into bite-sized pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add the sherry vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt and let marinate for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.

For the Skordalia

Cut the green garlic lengthwise and brush with a bit of the oil. Place the garlic in the oven with the beets and roast until soft and has a spreadable texture.

Once cool, scrape all the soft garlic out of the heads and reserve all of the scraps as well as the roasted garlic.

OPTIONAL: Place the garlic “husks” in the oven and roast until they are completely black and brittle. Chef Fitzgerald likes to crush the ash and fold into finished skordalia to impart a smoky characteristic.

Place the garlic, almonds, Dijon and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup olive oil, being careful to keep the mixture emulsified.

Once all of the oil has been incorporated, season with salt and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

To plate, smear a large dollop of the skordalia on a serving platter and arrange the beets on top of it. Garnish with the arugula.


  • 4 medium red beets
  • 4 medium gold beets
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 5 tablespoons
  • ½ cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted
  • 4 heads green garlic
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Handful of organic wild arugula
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