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Roasted Beet and Potato Salad

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Recipe adopted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.  [Recipe makes 6 servings].

As you may recall, one of the things I picked up at this past week's farmers' market was a pound or so of golden beets.  Now if you're someone who just thinks of those red canned vegetables when I say beets, please give this recipe a try.  Beets are one of those foods that are either loved, or completely misunderstood...and thus, hated.  When cooked and seasoned properly, they're heaven.  And then when paired with salted smoked salmon, some gorgeous baby purple potatoes, rich soft-boiled eggs, and a mustard vinaigrette, you've got quite the gourmet salad on your hands.  Thomas Keller for the win, again.  And another hint that I need to spend more time with his cookbooks; the man knows what he's doing.

INGREDIENTS:

24 baby beets, 1 to 1 1/2-inches in diameter (golden, red, and/or Chioggia)
3 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound 2 ounces baby potatoes, 1-inch in diameter (marble, purple, or Red Bliss)
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt

4 soft-boiled eggs, halved right before serving

1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

Chicory leaves (or your favorite mixed greens)
4 ounces smoked salmon
Minced chives

DIRECTIONS:

For the soft-boiled eggs, follow the directions previously given for hard-boiled eggs, but reduce the boiling time to 8 minutes.  Cool, peel, and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Trim off the root ends of the beets. and place the beets in a roasting pan.  Coat in the canola oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, or until a sharp paring knife easily pierces through the beets.  Transfer the beets to a cooling rack, and finish cooling in the refrigerator.  [Side note:  If beets are piled on top of each other in a container to cool, or even worse, covered before they're cooled, they will turn black due to oxidation.  I prefer to use a cooling rack to increase the surface area of the exposed beets].  Once cool, peel off the skins with a vegetable peeler.

For the potatoes, cut into quarters and add to a large sauce pan.  Cover with cold water and add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain immediately and cool the potatoes using the same method as the beets.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the shallots, vinegar, and Dijon.  Slowly, add the olive oil while whisking, to create an emulsion.  Once all of the oil is incorporated and isn't separated, whisk in the whole grain-mustard.

Assemble the salad using alternating layers of the vinaigrette, chicory leaves, salmon, potatoes, and beets.  Top with minced chives and soft-boiled eggs.  Season the whole salad with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  [Side note:  Not all of the dressing necessarily has to be used, depending on how 'dressed' you like your salad, and how many greens you end up using].

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