Chef Kevin Cousin
Table 9, Northampton, MA
- 2 bunches of organic gold beets
- 2 bunches of organic red baby beets
- 3 handfuls or small bag of mesclun mix a.k.a. baby lettuce
- 6oz goat cheese or crumbled blue cheese and maple balsamic vinaigrette
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Store Bought: ½ cup candied walnuts
OR Home Made:
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 small minced shallot
- 2 small garlic clove
- 1 cup neutral-tasting oil, like canola or grape-seed
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Rinse beets under cold running water and scrub lightly to release excess dirt, pat dry and lightly coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and encase in a large sheet of foil which you fold into a packet.
Place in an oven on the rack or on a baking pan and roast until middle is soft when pierced with a wooden tooth pick or skewer (approximately 45 minutes to hour 1 1/2 depending on the size of the beets). Be careful of steam when opening the foil.
Cool beets to room temperature and rub off outside skin using vinyl or latex gloves and a kitchen towel or paper towel.
Once beets are cooled and peeled you can cut into desired thickness.
You can splash with a little vinaigrette and salt and pepper and reserve under refrigeration until needed.
For the goat cheese or blue cheese, crumble and place in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the Mesclun Mix (baby lettuce) take approximately ½ lb of lettuce. You can use your favorite lettuce or mix your own (arugula, frisee, mache, radicchio, oak leaf, water cress.)
Melt 4 Tbsp of butter with 3 Tbsp of brown sugar over low-medium heat in a 8 inch sauté pan.
Add whole and half walnuts and stir until sugar mixture coats nuts and starts to caramelize slightly.
Pour onto a piece of wax paper and fan out to cool; sprinkle with salt.
Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender and blend thoroughly on low speed.
Slowly drizzle in oil until you achieve the thickness you prefer. If it becomes to thick, add a little warm water.
Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.
Chill 4 plates in freezer.
Toss the lettuce in a large bowl with just enough of the maple balsamic vinaigrette to coat lightly
Place equal amounts on each plate arrange beets on side of lettuceSprinkle top with cheese and walnuts.
Recommended wine/beer for Roasted Organic Baby Beet Salad:
Pine Ridge 2005 Chenin Blanc-Viognier [Clarksburg, California]
I can remember, as a child, how much I detested beets. I could not find in them a single redeeming virtue [even their inherent sweetness was insufficient to convert me]. Now I crave them, and chef Kevin Cousin’s starter course of organic beet salad is a dish I can highly recommend as an antidote to any similar juvenile memory. The refreshingly off-dry character of Pine Ridge’s Chenin Blanc and Viognier blend is also perfectly suited to the salad’s blue cheese, candied walnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette. There is but a scant 19% Viognier, but it is enough to give the wine the weight and body and roundness to show off the organic beets.