Rodrick Bradley took home the gold medal from the first recipe swap sponsored by Fayette Woman and the Peachtree City Farmers’ Market in August, 2012, with this recipe. Foodies will appreciate the care with which he prepared this dish. Here are his instructions:
This recipe uses garden ingredients that have intense flavor. My idea was to counter the intensity some what and offer balance then introduce some contrast…
Beets countered by roasting and citrus… citrus countered with the goat cheese.
Smooth soft texture contrasted by the crispness of the hot salted onions… Mint
chiffonade to further counter the intensity and add back a jab of fresh.
GARDEN FRESH BEET SALAD
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 lb. beets (5 – 6 medium sized)
3 medium to small carrots.
1 small onion. (I used white)
4 – 8 cups baby arugula or baby spinach or greens of your choice.
10 to 15 fresh mint leaves.
2 Tbsp. goat cheese (or feta).
Frying oil (6 – 8 cups olive, peanut or your choice)
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
White grapefruit balsamic vinegar
High quality Extra Virgin olive oil
White pepper (black is okay)
NOTE: Everything can be simplified and in areas shortcut(ed) but I usually follow the
harder road… your choice.
Roast the beets and carrots. Preheat oven to 450.
Slightly trim ends of beets and carrots. (I like to leave the beets as whole as possible
and leave the stems on carrots to keep in the flavor. Wash and dry then light coat with
olive oil and a little salt.)
Roast on an appropriate pan in oven covered or one can wrap beets individually and
carrots together in foil. Remove carrots after ~ 20 minutes. Test for doneness of your
choice. The beets will take (forever) about an hour. Remove and leave covered and
let cool for an hour or so.
Peel Trim Dice & Marinate Beets
Zest a whole lemon. Extract the juice 1/2 lemon and put all in med bowel. Add a pinch
Further trim beet ends so they be neatly peeled and diced.
Peel beets. NOTE: This can be “fun”… Use a very sharp knife and or your fingers. (Peeler is ok but they tend to be pretty aggressive.)
Dice beets into bite sizes of your choice. I tend towards smallish ~ 1/4” cubes.
Add warm beets to zest/juice bowel and gently mix. Let stand at room temp for 30 min
Carrots can be peeled but I don’t to stay with the farm/health theme and leave skins on.
Cut the carrots into 1/4″ dice and set aside or refrigerate covered.
To another bowl add and mix:
Juice of remaining 1/2 lemon.
Obtain the zest of a whole orange.
1/8 – 1/4 tsp mustard.
1/8 – 1/4 tsp honey or sweetener
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp. White Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar (or what one has in pantry).
1 Tbsp. best Extra Virgin olive oil (or what one has)
Crispy Onion topping
Put “frying” oil in a medium tallish stock pot. Adjust heat to medium low to start the
warming. The desired temp will be ~ 360° F. I use a “candy” thermometer. A few
minutes before adding the onions turn the heat up to med/high. (Heating oil in a pot on
stove top can be very dangerous.)
In a large bowl combine flour, corn starch, pinch Cayenne Pepper and ~ 1/4 t salt.
Cut onions in half. Peel and slice into thin 1/16″ pieces. Dredge sliced onions in flour
mixture and place in a 1/4″ grate wire rack (over the sink) and shake out small pieces
and excess flour mix.
Plan on “deep” frying these in 3 – 4 separate batches…this keeps the oil temperature
up which is important. Have paper towels laid out or an additional wire cooling ready
to receive the hot crispy onions.
Using a large wire (asian) spoon carefully lower batches of raw onion into hot oil.
Cook until the edges turn light brown ~ 1 1/2 minutes or less. Remove and place on a
wire rack or paper towels. Shake off excess oil to the extent possible. Salt very lightly.
Assemble 3 – 5 similar sized mint leaves at a time on top of each other and roll
lengthwise into a “small tube” as best you can. Cut off ~ 1/8″ of the end and discard.
Using a very sharp knife cut (to the extent you can) VERY thin slices of the mint across
the grain into “threads”.
Put goat cheese in a small dish.
In a large bowel combine drained beets, carrots and 2/3’s of dressing and mix gently.
Combine the remaining (1/3) dressing in another bowel (chilled) with the greens.
There should be a bowel with greens, a bowel with beets and carrots, a rack with the
fried onions, a dish with the goat cheese and a dish with the chiffonade mint
On individual plates (chilled) place some greens then a goodly amount of beets/
carrots and top with a small finger full of the crispy onions. With your fingers add ~ 1/2
dozen small dollops of goat cheese. Top with thinly sliced mint.