December 30, 2013

Beet Carpaccio





Every Christmas, my husband gives me a cookbook. He usually browses the pages before he wraps it and writes a little note indicating which recipes he like me to try. I realize this sounds a bit like the old yarn about a husband giving his wife a vacuum or washing machine or something else that will add more to his comfort and less to her joy, but not in this case.  It's my favorite gift because it's a gesture that says he really knows me and, as my friend Royce who reads all matter of relationship books would say, he's speaking my love language. I love to cook. I love it when my cooking is appreciated and I really love it when someone asks me to cook something specific (especially if it's something I've made before that they enjoyed).

This recipe was inspired by a cookbook he gave me about 10 years ago - The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver - a chef whose casual, imprecise style really suits me. He made it with beef (delicious). I made it with beets, turning it into a good side dish or appetizer. Earthy beets, a bite from the horseradish and tiny fried onion rings for a bit of salty, crispy garnish.



Beet Carpaccio

Serves 4 as a side dish

3-4 beets
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Squeeze lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ

2. Wash and trim beets. Place in a covered casserole dish with a 1/2 cup of water across the bottom and bake until tender (1 hour). When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4 inch slices.

3. Whisk horseradish, sour cream, salt, lemon juice and heavy cream together until smooth.

4. Slice shallot into thin slices and separate them into rings. Heat olive oil in a small, heavy saucepan until hot (onion should sizzle when it hits the oil). Fry onions until brown, stirring with a fork. This will only take 15-30 seconds. Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

5. Lay beet slices on a plate, drizzle horseradish cream over and top with fried onions and fresh herbs, if using.




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