Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Beets

Friday, December 16, 2011 13:29

The Perfect Holiday Meal Ingredient

by: Casey Pukl

The holidays are officially upon us. It’s getting down to crunch time. Just next weekend, none of us will be able to escape the sea of red and green decorations, Santa hats, twinkling lights, mountains of wrapping paper, the comforting sounds of Nat King Cole, or the stresses of hosting the big celebration.

Holiday entertaining can feel overwhelming— you’re trying to decorate the house, plan the menu, grocery shop, find wine pairings, prepare the food, the list just goes on. Fortunately for all of us, Chef Todd has come along to simplify the day with a tasty and festive menu that requires minimal prep, food shopping, and stress! We’re talking about beets this week!

Golden or crimson, these root veggies are the perfect addition to any holiday meal. Not only are the colors gorgeous, but they are easily used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Chef Todd suggests starting off your meal with a Golden Beet Carpaccio. Start off with some thinly sliced golden beets on the bottom of the plate. You can also use some red ones if you’d like. Then place some baby greens, or arugula, or even spinach on top of the beets. Top with walnuts, a little goat cheese, and some vinaigrette. Chef Todd usually uses a goat cheese vinaigrette, but you can also use a different one of your choosing. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Pair this dish with a sparkling wine. Warren’s Pick: Roederer Estate, Brut Rose, Anderson Valley, NV

For your main course, Chef Todd suggests a Roasted Pork Loin on a bed of cubed red and golden beets, halved brussel sprouts, cubed red potatos, onions, and herbs. Season with a little salt and pepper, and add a few thinly sliced beets on top of the loin. Cook the loin to an internal temperature of about 150 degrees F, and then remove it from the oven and let it rest. The meat will continue to cook once it is removed from the oven, and will be ready between 155-160 degrees F.

Pair this dish with a creamy textured Chardonnay. Warren’s Pick: Nickel & Nickel, Nappa Valley, 2009

For dessert, what could be more festive than a Red Velvet Cake? Chef Todd recommends following a recipe that uses beets instead of red food coloring for a unique and rich flavor. One recipe he recommends is this one: 1920’s Original Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet Cake. Not only is the color astonishingly rich, but the earthy flavor of the beets complements the cocoa perfectly.

Pair this cake with a Syrah (trust us on this one). Warren’s Pick: Earthquake, Lodi, 2006.

Stay tuned for nest week’s post, where Chef Todd and beverage manager, Marc Canzoneri help you navigate brunch for your overnight guests.