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Beet Salad
Makes 4 Servings
*3 red beets
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
*Salt and pepper
*Water for roasting pan
*1/2 cup sherry vinegar
*1 cup water
*1/4 cup honey
*1 tablespoon salt
*1/2 tablespoon pepper
*1 tablespoon celery seed
*1/2 fennel bulb
*1/2 red onion
*2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1 bunch watercress
*Fresh goat cheese
1Scrub beets and trim ends. Place in roasting pan at least 1-inch deep (9"x9" pan is best). Drizzle beets with olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Add water to 1/2-inch depth.
2Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Cover roasting pan with foil; bake in oven for 90 minutes until a fork punctures beets easily. Remove from oven, and keep covered for 30 minutes to steam and cool. Use a paper towel to wipe skins from beets, then slice. Strain roasting liquid and reserve.
3In sauce pot, combine all ingredients for the gastrique. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Taste for balance: too acidic, add more honey; too sweet, add more vinegar.
4While gastrique comes to a boil, slice fennel and onion and combine in a large mixing bowl with mustard and olive oil. Add sliced beets and strained roasting liquid. Pour boiling hot gastrique over vegetables. Allow to steep for at least one hour, best overnight.
5When ready to serve, chop, wash and dry watercress. Combine with beet mixture and plate. Crumble goat cheese on top.
  • Sommelier Geoffrey Fallon recommends pairing the Beet Salad with a 2004 Joseph Faiveley, Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France

Chef Ian Just, Les Zygomates, Boston, MA