What’s on the holiday dinner table of Jacobsen Salt Co. founder Ben Jacobsen? These wine-roasted beets topped with his own Jacobsen Pinot Noir Salt, and he’s happy to share the recipe from his Portland-based salt company.

The first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since Lewis and Clark built their salt works in 1805, Jacobsen Salt has also been making wine salts since their inception. “I needed to come up with a couple infusions for the Kickstarter giveaway,” Jacobsen admits when asked about the creation of the Pinot Noir salt. “We use that varietal from my friend John Grochau [of Grochau Cellars]. He makes a really great Pinot and we started out using his.”

To infuse, Jacobsen says they spray the finished wine over the salt in a dehydrator, dry between each application and then apply as needed. This process keeps it simple and wine-forward without compromising the integrity of the Oregon Coast-harvested sea salt. 

When it comes to this beets recipe, Jacobsen says the Pinot Noir salt is a flavor boost, especially when pairing with Grochau Cellar’s 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot. “It enhances a dish by not only adding a visual contrast but also a delicate crunch with the taste of smooth Pinot Noir,” he adds.

The Pinot Noir salt’s notes of vanilla and sweet, red fruit combine with the earthy tones to perfectly finish this dish, but Jacobsen says given the holidays, he has a few other suggestions. “For this time of year, it’s great to sprinkle atop hot chocolate,” he says. “Rich, creamy, chocolate with Pinot Noir salt sprinkled on it. Perfect for the season!”

Roasted Beet Salad with Jacobsen Pinot Noir Salt

Serves 6-8

2 pounds small or medium red beets
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoon Jacobsen Pure Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Grochau Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
1 cup water
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Garnish: Jacobsen Pinot Noir Salt and shredded Parmesan; both to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Wash and trim the beets. Toss the beets with 1/4 cup of olive oil and kosher salt. Place in a roasting pan with the wine, water, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and garlic. Cover with foil and roast for about an hour (depending on the size) or until fork tender.

Remove the beets from the pan. Strain and reserve any remaining pan liquid. Allow the beets to cool and then rub vigorously with a dry paper towel to remove the skins.

Slice into wedges. Toss with strained roasting liquid, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Top with Pinot Noir Salt to taste.