alive logo

Roasted Heirloom Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad


    Roasted Heirloom Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad

    Various types of beets and honey can take this dish in plenty of delicious directions. Honey takes its flavour from the fields that surround the apiary and there are many varieties to explore, ranging from fireweed to blueberry to wildflower.


    1 lb (450 g) heirloom beets, as many varieties as you find
    6 Tbsp (90 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 bunch fresh thyme
    2 heads butter lettuce, washed and dried well
    1/2 cup (125 mL) ricotta cheese
    3 limes
    1/2 cup (125 mL) fireweed honey (or any high-quality honey you like)
    3/4 cup (180 mL) peanut oil
    Black pepper, freshly ground

    To roast beets, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Wash and trim beets before placing in ovenproof dish, ensuring all are roughly the same size. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss with sprigs of fresh thyme.

    Roast until tender (40 to 60 minutes, depending on size). Check with tip of sharp knife: they should offer no resistance. Remove beets from oven and cool until you are able to handle them. Peel beets and cut into irregular shapes. This can be done up to a day ahead.

    To make dressing, zest and juice limes, reserve the zest, and place juice in bowl. Pour in honey and slowly whisk in peanut oil. Season dressing to taste.

    To make salad, divide leaves of butter lettuce among six cold plates. Toss beets with a portion of the dressing and divide among the plates. Using a spoon, make small mounds of ricotta on salads. Sprinkle tops with lime zest and top each salad with more dressing.

    Serves 6.

    Source: "Fuel Restaurant", alive #307, May 2008


    Roasted Heirloom Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad




    SEE MORE »
    Poached Sablefish and Bok Choy with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Chili
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.