Pink is not my color. And it really never has been.
As a kid, I preferred blue, which fared quite nicely for my parents who stuffed me in hand-me-downs from my brother. That’s okay. I wasn’t ever really a dress girl either. I was a tree-climbing wannabe tomboy. Scraped knees were better for keeping up that persona than pink dresses, as probably were oversized clothes.
The only time I did wear pink was when my parents dressed my 3-year-old self up in a puffy pink princess gown for a Halloween event. I took home first place at the event’s costume contest. That I’ll attribute to the itchy goldilocks wig they also placed atop my head. I haven’t worn pink since.
Today, I love dresses. And nail polish. And climbing trees too. Naturally, I’m a hodgepodge of my younger self and older years. Part lover of fashion, hater of shopping, adventurer of trees and urban landscape.
I still don’t love pink when it comes to clothes, but when it comes to the kitchen, I can’t get enough of it. There’s nothing uglier than a bright pink shirt (in most cases), but there’s little else more beautiful than a bowl of pink pasta. The beet-dyed strands like the ones pictured above make my heart melt for magenta.
This has been my year of the beet, which has infused a love, almost a need, for its color in any situation possible. A little goes a long way, like in this rice and quinoa tabbouleh, and the pesto recipe that follows.
Here, it keeps basil pesto from turning a putrid green, sweeping in with its dye to prevent any pitfalls of oxidization. The beet will add a slight earthiness to the pesto, but is far from prominent in flavor. Rather, it shines in its color, which pairs so naturally well with vibrant arugula and the amenable tones of pasta.
The goat cheese is optional, so feel free to skip it all together if you’re vegan or dabbling in dairy-free. It adds a slight tang to play off the mild sweetness of the beets, but a few sliced tomatoes could work just as well.