Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chef Adam's Yummy Beet Salad

If you liked my post on my ideas regarding the classic beet salad, then you're really going to like Chef Adam Ostrofsky's take on beets.  I had this salad at Gordon's Wines in Waltham as part of the Sommelier Smack-Down event that I attended last week.  I asked Chef Adam to share it with you on CQ, and he graciously agreed.  According to him, it's a simple salad to make and I think the work that goes into the mis-en-place is worthwhile when you consider how fabulous the end result is.  I can't wait to serve this at my next dinner party.

Here's Chef Adam's recipe:
For the salad:
1 pound of beets
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of parsley
2 heads fennel, shaved paper thin on a mandoline and kept in ice cold water
For the duck confit:
2 or 3 duck leg quarter
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mace
1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the dressing:
4 cups ricotta
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon of lemon* juice
zest of one lemon*
salt and pepper.

*Use Sorrento lemons if you can find them. They are juicy and their pulp is straw yellowish. They are the single most commonly used lemons in Italy. They are less acidic than most domestic lemons. Meyer lemons are a great substitute if you can't find Sorrento lemons.

Make duck confit:
combine one cup salt, one cup brown sugar, tablespoon of ground mace, and cinnamon. Cure the duck legs overnight in the mixture. Then cook at 250˚ in duck fat for 2 1/2 hours and set aside to cool and then pick apart. Bread with Wondra Flour and fry at 250 degrees. 
Cook the beets for 2 hours at 350 degrees till tender. first coat them with olive oil, salt pepper and rosemary. At the bottom of the pan you are cooking them in, add some Vegetable Stock. Cover with Tin foil and cook till tender. Remove the skin. Cut the beets to a medium dice.

Pick parsley and mint leaves by tearing them apart. It gives the salad a more rustic flavor and makes it taste better when coated with the dressing.
Make the dressing simply by whisking the ingredients in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together the duck confit, vegetables, and dressing to make the salad. Add the herbs into the mixture at the very end.

With wine: At the Sommelier Smack-Down, Kate Moore paired a beautiful dry rosé from Provence with this dish.  I liked the bold fruit flavors against the earthiness and sweetness of the beets.  It also had enough body to hold up to the richness of the ricotta dressing and the duck confit.  If you're in the mood for a white, try one from Campagna such as a Fiano di Avellino or a Falanghina.  If you can't find either of those, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a Verdejo from Spain would also be delicious.  Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Sorrento lemons are hard to find, but delicious. They remind me of the lemons my husband and I picked straight from the tree when we were in Portugal. They have a thinner skin and have more juice. Great for lemonade!