Recipe courtesy of Dave Mechlowicz for Food Network Kitchen

Gold Medal Sliders

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Beets are nature’s candy and here, we turn the elements of a classic golden beet salad into a slider that resembles a gleaming gold medal. Instead of discarding the beet greens, we turn them into a vibrant pesto because every slider deserves a winning sauce.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 10 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (12 sliders)
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Separate the beets from the greens. Set aside the greens. Place the beets on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, add the rosemary sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil up and around the beets to create a closed packet and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, 1 hour. Open the packet carefully to release the steam, then refrigerate the packet for 2 hours or up to 3 days. 
  3. Put the reserved beet greens (about 2 cups), basil leaves, walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, honey and lemon juice in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Turn on the blender and drizzle in the 1 cup oil until smooth. If the pesto becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside. 
  4. If using bacon, put the slices in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat, flipping halfway through, until crispy, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. When the beets are chilled, discard the rosemary from the foil packet. Wearing food prep gloves, peel the skin from the chilled beets with a paring knife. Slice the beets into about twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds (or gold medals). Any smaller pieces of the beets can also be used to make a slider, so do not discard. Slice the goat cheese into twelve 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Cut the bacon slices in half if using. 
  6. Spread the pesto on the inside of the top and bottom of a slider bun. Place a few arugula leaves on the bottom bun and top with 1 beet round, 1 goat cheese round, half a piece of bacon if using, a drizzle of balsamic glaze and the top bun. Repeat with the remaining buns, pesto, arugula, beets, goat cheese and balsamic. Serve. 

Cook’s Note

Select slider buns that match the size of the beets. We especially like Martin’s Famous Potato Party Rolls for medium beets and Martin’s Sliced Slider Potato Rolls for large beets. The pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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