Barbabietole (Beet Salad) from Chef Mette Williams of Culina
Barbabietole (Beet Salad)
8 golden baby beets
8 candy-striped baby beets
1 1/2 c. kosher salt
10 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs cleaned and chopped
1 medium shallot, finely diced
¼ c. orange oil*
2 tangerines, segmented; save juices from segments and use to marinate beets
8 leaves watercress
½ c. soft goat cheese
2 Tbsp. basil oil*
Petite basil or chopped regular basil
¼ c. candied pistachios or roasted pistachios
Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a layer of kosher salt. Lay out a few thyme sprigs and then place 7 of each beet variety on top. Cover with foil and roast in the oven at 350° F for 30-45 minutes. To check the beets’ doneness, insert a toothpick. If it goes in easily, they are done. Let them cool until you can hold them comfortably, and then peel off the skins. The beets are easy to peel when warm.
When beets are all cleaned, cut into bite-size pieces and mix with the chopped thyme, diced shallots, orange oil and tangerine juice.
For the reserved raw beets, make sure they are free from dirt, and slice paper-thin on a mandolin or slicer, width-wise. These beet disks will be a garnish, and you can do them ahead of time and keep them in clean water until ready for use.
To assemble, place a few pieces of watercress on a serving plate and put the marinated beets on top. Scatter the tangerine segments, goat cheese and pistachios and drizzle with the basil oil and a bit of the beet marinade. Sprinkle on the basil and place the beet disks on top.
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