And the beet goes on…
At All The Best we proudly display our LFP (Local Food Plus) certification: it attests to our commitment to support local food producers and sustainable agriculture (www.localfoodplus.ca). Executive Chef, Olivia Bolano, works closely with local farmers to bring the best of fresh produce to our kitchen. This summer she has spent several days working on the land at The New Farm with owners Brent Preston and Gillian Fleis on their organic farm near Creemore… most recently spending an intense day of harvesting heirloom tomatoes, baby new potatoes and a splendid crop of young beets.
Freshly harvested beets will likely be available at farmers’ markets for a few more weeks. You’ll find bunches of the familiar deep purple ones and also heritage varieties in brilliant hues of orange, white, yellow and candy-striped pink and white. In the kitchen we boil, roast, steam and pickle beets for a selection of dishes our customers love. A most popular salad includes beets tossed in white wine vinaigrette flavoured with a hint of orange and chopped fresh tarragon and topped with crumbled goat cheese. We’re sharing the recipe, but it’s on the menu next week so you can enjoy a treat with no work at all! (This week, try Chef Olivia’s Beet and Kale Salad.)
Note: Before cooking, scrub beets under cold running water. Trim away beet tops, leaving about an inch. Leave thin stem intact (this prevents the colour from bleeding out). Boil, roast, steam, or microwave beets until tender. Fresh beet greens are delicious and packed with nutrients. Wash thoroughly, trim away the tough stalks, tear the leaves into pieces and sautée quickly in olive oil with a little chopped garlic.
Beet Salad with Chèvre and Tarragon
11/4 lbs (625 g) beets (about 4 medium)
½ cup (125 ml) thinly sliced red onion
½ cup (125 ml) White Wine Vinaigrette, see below
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp (5 ml) grated orange zest
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp (60 ml) crumbled soft chèvre
In a large saucepan, cover beets with cold, lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beets are tender, 30 minutes to an hour depending on size. Adjust timing according to the size of your beets. Let cool until easy to handle and remove skins. Slice or roughly chop beets. In a large bowl, combine beets, red onion, vinaigrette, tarragon and orange zest. Toss well to combine flavours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chèvre on beet salad just before serving.
White Wine Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp (1 ml) kosher or sea salt, 2 tbsp (30 ml) white wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice, if you like.