By Rosalind Smith, Director of Business Development, The Cruise Web, Inc.
How often does a recipe jump out at you? It’s officially Autumn, beets are in peak season, and I’ve recently become re-acquainted with them, so when I saw this recipe while thumbing through an Oceania Cruises cookbook, I knew I had to try them.
This recipe was surprisingly easy to make. With most of the ingredients on hand, I omitted the slices of black truffle, which were optional anyway, and replaced the canola oil with extra virgin olive oil from Greece.
I served this beet “Carpaccio” as a first course at a dinner with some friends with a light Pinot Noir. The verdict: this dish is capable of converting the average beet-naysayer into a fan. So, indulge in Oceania’s decadent version of this hearty and nutritious root vegetable.
Words of wisdom: it’s best to store your fresh beets with all foliage attached until ready to use. Most importantly, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time unless you have a trained chef in the house! I began too close to my guests’ arrival, eliminating my typical “trial run.” Therefore, I did not practice the Carpaccio-thin slices as I would have preferred.
Time was of the essence, so after peeling the carrots I continued creating “ribbons” with the peeler rather than julienne cut.
The Truffle Vinaigrette is luxurious on the palate, and the walnut oil was a nice touch. You’ll want to save your leftover vinaigrette to dress your salads, so I’d recommend storing it in an airtight glass container (up to a week). Just remember to allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to serving again!
- 4 small red beets with greens intact
- 3 lbs. course sea salt (about 5 cups)
- .333 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- A pinch of kosher salt
- A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. minced shallot
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. walnut oil
- .5 tsp. black truffle paste
- 1 tsp. finely chopped chives
- .5 cup mixed baby greens tossed with baby beet greens
- 2 Tbsp. julienned red onion
- .25 cup julienned carrot
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Black truffle slices (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the top of the beets leaving a quarter-inch of the stem intact.
- Combine the salt and water and mix together. Make a bed of the mixture approximately one half to one quarter-inch thick in a small saucepan that is deep enough to hold the beets in a single layer.
- Position the beets stem ends up on the bed of salt and cover with the remainder of the salt. Make sure the beets are covered completely.
- Bake the beets for an hour and a half.
- Let the beets rest in the pan for 15 minutes after baking (during this time you can make the vinaigrette).
- On a clean work surface, turn the block of salt-encased beets. Carefully break off and discard the salt.
- Rinse the beets under cold water.
- Cut off the stem of each beet and scrape away and discard the skin.
- Combine vinegar, salt, pepper and shallot.
- Stir in the canola and walnut oils, truffle paste and chives.
- With a mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the beets into paper-thin slices.
- Stack the greens in the center, adding in the carrots and onions.
- Top with a leaf of parsley. If you want you can also garnish with truffle slices.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette on top.
Have you ever cooked with beets? What is the most exotic vegetable you’ve ever used in a dish?
Director of Business Development
The Cruise Web, Inc.