Sous Vide: Renaissance Beet Salad–2020

This refreshing permutation of the famous raw beef dish invented at Harry's Bar in Venice evokes the splashy colors without the carnage.

Ingredients

Beets, 1 each, approximately 5 oz/150 g,
Romaine lettuce, one leaf.
Avocado, 0.25 each.
Cherry tomatoes, 3 each.
Extra virgin olive oil, 0.5 oz/15 ml.
Balsamic syrup, a drizzle.
Kosher salt, a few pinches.
Cream Cheese, 2 oz/30 g.
Spinach, cooked, well drained and chopped fine, 1 oz.
Kosher salt, a pinch.
Ginger Tamarind emulsion, a few drops (optional).

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced almonds
Almonds, 1 oz./30 g.
Water, 1 Tablespoon
Corn syrup, 1 teaspoon.
Sugar, 1 teaspoon.
Butter, 5 grams.
Cayenne pepper, a pinch.

 

Equipment requirements

Immersion circulator.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Mechanical slicer or mandolin.

 

 

Serves 1
Level of difficulty, 2

Procedure:

Preheat the sous vide bath to
183 F/84 C

Seal the beet(s) in vacuum bags and stage into the bath. Process for
2 hours.

This will pasteurize the beets. After the time has elapsed, remove the beets from the bath and submerge in iced/tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C–approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate to 40 F/4 C. The beets can be kept in this state for at least three weeks without deteriorating.

Spiced almonds

Combine the water, corn syrup, sugar, butter and cayenne pepper in a small sauce pan and melt on low heat. Add the almonds and continue to cook on low heat until bubbly and slightly browned–about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out onto a non stick surface and set aside to cool.

Service

Cut the avocado into small dice and the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Toss with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper and set aside. Combine HALF of the cream cheese with the chopped spinach.

Remove the beets from the bag. Rub the surface with a wet towel or paper towel to remove the peel. Slice the beets and arrange on the plate.

Tip: Beets stain everything red. This can be remedied by carefully wrapping the sliced beets in a clean towel and vacuuming. Allow to rest for five minutes before removing from the bag/towel. If you are possessed of a slightly twisted sense of humor, you can wrap your hand in the stained towel, call your spouse into the kitchen and say “I kind of nicked myself.”

Cut the Romaine leaf so that it fits in the middle of the plate. Put a small amount of cream cheese in the center and lean the lettuce up on it. Spoon the spinach mixture at the base of the lettuce leaf to form a little “bowl” and fill with the avocado/tomato relish. Drizzle the beets with olive oil, balsamic syrup and the ginger tamarind emulsion. Arrange spiced almonds over the top of the beets. Sprinkle with kosher salt and chopped parsley at service.

Norm King

 

About

There was a time when chefs assigned the term "Carpaccio" to everything from octopus to cardoon. Reprising the spontaneously named event/creation carried with it a certain romantic panache, after all. The general public was not familiar enough with the original dish to notice that raw beef (or even horse meat) had been replaced by roasted peppers.

Originally named after an Italian painter, as long as the dish exhibited red, green and white (the colors of the Italian flag), liberties taken with authenticity were mostly forgiven. Now that some time has passed, we can discard the esoteric moniker in favor of a name that is more easily pronounced without sacrificing any cosmopolitan flair.

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