Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fresh Roasted Beet Salad

I just got back from NY/NYC.  Three times while there, I ordered a first course with Fresh Roasted Beets first from the Culinary Institute of America then at two different restaurants in NYC.

At one NYC restaurant, roasted golden and red beets were cut in wedges and served cold in a neat bowl.  On top was a generous amount of tender greens that were tossed in olive oil and an acid of sorts.  Throughout the dish there were small spoon fulls of goat cheese coated with pumpkin seeds.  The combination was really good and perfect for summer. This dish closely resembled what I ordered at the CIA.

At the second NYC restaurant, they were served in a more artistic manner on a flat rectangular plate.  The red beets were cut into chunks and were also served cold.  There was a smaller amount of greens as compared to the salad presentation I ate previously, and this one included sauteed scallions.  The greens too were coated in a light oil and acid dressing.  Interestingly, the goat cheese compliment also included sunflower seeds.

The first thing I bought when I got home was fresh beets and goat cheese.  I am going to try to recreate the dish that I enjoyed so much.  I have white truffle oil and champagne vinegar that I bought at Oil & Vinegar and I think those will work well.  I still need to get the sunflower seeds and some sort of small tender greens or micro greens.  This should be a fun dish to prepare. Here's my Roast Beet Salad recipe.

If you roast the beets in the morning, they'll be chilled by dinner.  Preheat the over to 325.  Peel about 1 lb. Fresh Beets and cut into similar sized pieces, about 1/2" squared.  Toss in Olive Oil and place single layer on a sheet pan.  Roast for about 45 minutes, turning them over a few time for even roasting. Let cool, the chill in a paper towel lined bowl.  I bought about .10 lbs of sunflower seeds that I found sold in bulk.  That is plenty for this use.  I sauteed them in 1 tsp Butter stirring the entire time, until golden and crunchy.  Let cool.  Rinse and spin the desired amount of greens, I used two handfuls for 2 of us.  I used a combination of Fresh Spinach and tender Spring Mix.  Note, my presentation was more of a salad.  Place the greens in a bowl.  Toss with about 1 Tbl White Truffle Oil and 1/2 tsp Champagne Vinegar.  Season with S&P.  You can buy these specialty items by the 100ml at Oil & Vinegar or a shop similar, they are popping up all over the place.  It's worth it to visit one of these shops, because you get excellent combinations of flavors.

Time to assemble.  Add the greens to a flat plat.  Add the desired number of beets.  I used roughly 2-3 oz Goat Cheese.  Take small spoonfuls of the cheese and form it into a round shape and dot with the sunflower seeds.  These are not meant to look like balls though.  Add the cheese to the salad.  Add a few drops to Olive Oil to the goat cheese.  It helped take away some of the sharpness of it.  Another trick would be to lighten the goat cheese by whipping it with some cream cheese.  Once assembled, eat right away!! 

The other ingredient that was neat on one of the salads was the addition of Sugar Snap Peas.  I will add these to my next try at this salad.  The stem and string on one side was removed and they were blanched perhaps for 45 seconds, so they were cooked but a very bright green.  They were sliced open to expose the tiny peas attached to the pod.  Both sides of the pod were used and added great color, flavor, and a nice crunch.  I'll photograph the salad made with these once I make it. 

I hope you like this salad.  With the ingredients I used, it seemed quite similar to what I ate. 

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