Grace under fire
Beets perform their best when they
Are in a pickle
SNEAK PEEK RECIPE
(From A Real Newfoundland Scoff, release date May 16 & currently available for pre-order on Amazon.ca)
Growing up, I never had a beet that wasn’t pickled–I thought they grew that way. I know better now. Although there’s some pickling in this recipe, it’s very light, just meant to give a little tang. Thanks to Chef Steve Galvin for parting with this idea—a play on words of the more familiar beef carpaccio.
2 pounds fresh beets (choose larger ones for more uniform slices)
8 ounces arugula
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces feta cheese
For the pickling solution:
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 /2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic
1 /2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
For the beets:
Peel beets*, place beets in large pot of water, bring to a boil, and cook until soft.
In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk together pickling solution: water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Put the beets, whole, into the solution and refrigerate 2 days.
For the aioli:
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and salt into a paste. Scrape into the bowl of a food processor. Add egg yolk and mustard, blend well. Using a thin, steady stream, add olive oil slowly until an emulsion forms, and sauce is thickened. Stir in lemon juice and tarragon.
Assembling the dish:
Slice beets and let come to room temperature. It helps to have a mandolin or other slicing tool to slice the beets as thinly as possible.
Toss arugula in olive oil. Place an equal amount in the center of each plate. Arrange the beet slices flat, around the arugula, 6-8 slices per person.
Drizzle the aioli over the top (using a squirt bottle will give nice precise lines).
Crumble the feta cheese, sprinkling over each plate.
*Peeling beets can be made easier by slicing off the tops, then dropping in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Hold the beets under cold running water, and the skin should almost rub off.