For 6 1/2 cup portions
2 beets boiled peeled and finely diced into 1/5 inch pieces
2 carrots scraped, washed and diced raw into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup fresh paneer or soft Goat's Milk Cheese
For the pesto
1/2 cup of fresh Italian Basil plus 6 leaves for garnishing
1/4 cup of salted roasted shelled pistachios, skins removed to expose green nut plus 8-10 nuts for garnishing
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
4 cloves of peeled garlic
For the Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
salt to taste
Vinaigrette: Stir together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add salt to taste. Pour half the vinaigrette over the carrots and the rest over the beets. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
Pesto: In a mortar and pestle smash the garlic cloves. Add 1/4 cup pistachios and continue to grind using your pestle to breakdown the nuts. Add olive oil and softened butter and incorporate. Add the basil leaves and continue to grind the Pesto until you have a nutty and slightly chunky paste. Add salt to taste. Reserve
Brush all the cups lightly with olive oil.
Place a teaspoon of crumbled paneer at the bottom of each Chai glass, small ramekin or timbale.
Push down with your spoon. Top with half a teaspoon of pesto. I like to leave the pesto in the center so when you take a bite the wonderful green color of pesto comes is a surprise.
Top this with a spoonful of beets and press down. Repeat with another layer of Paneer, followed by pesto. Your final layer should be carrots.
You can garnish this salad in a glass and serve as is. You can also unmould it on a plate. To do this let the salad sit in the containers for an hour. Plastic wrap and keep refrigerated in hot weather.
Using a sharp knife, slide it carefully into the glass and move it around in a circular motion to loosen the salad. Turn it over on a plate. Garnish with pistachios and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.