Bring the water and sugar to boil in the skillet. Avoid stirring and use a wooden spoon to push the sugar around until it moistens. Do not stir again. Slowly swirly the pan and when the sugar becomes lightly browned, remove from heat and carefully add the white vinegar. The mixture will foam up. Avoid getting it on your skin. Add the fresh mint.
Make the dressing:
Blend on high speed: The sous vide processed red onion, mustard seeds, sugar, salt, white vinegar, and the vegetable oil.
Seal the beets in vacuum pouches or Ziploc Freezer bags, and process @
183F/84C for 1 hour.
Cold shock in ice water to 70 F/21 C and then refrigerate at 40 F/4 C.
Remove the beets from the packaging. Use a paring knife to remove the darkened stalk areas. Rub the beets with a clean wet towel, and the peel will come off without wasting any of the vegetable. As needed, dip the vegetable and the towel into cold water to assist in the procedure.
Put the bitter greens in a Kitchenaid type mixer. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. Using the paddle attachment, beat the lettuce until it wilts. Do not add vinegar. Vinegar will actually dissolve the greens.
Process the cabbage at
183F/84C for 20 minutes.
Cold shock the cabbage to 70 F/21 C and refrigerate to 40 F/4 C. On day of service, remove from package, cut into small pieces and combine with the bitter greens. This will provide a little lightness in color and texture as well.
As an appetizer
Slice the beets as thin as possible without compromising their structural integrity–if they break, slice them a little thicker. I use a mechanical slicer or mandolin, but doing them by hand is fine. Stack three of the beet slices on a plate, interspersed with a pinch of the bitter greens mixed with the cabbage. Garnish with a few small slices of the sous vide red onion. Dot the plate with Balsamic syrup or your favorite dressing, and mint gastrique.
This salad is a real eye opener, and beets are usually a good value.
As a light entrée
Beets are also an excellent and substantial vegetable. The flavor of the red beets is identical, despite our expectations. The color of the golden beets is much more appealing. For this variation on Carpaccio, slice the beets as thin as possible and arrange in a pinwheel as shown. Sprinkle with some Maldon or Himalayan salt. Arrange some of the beaten kale salad in the middle and garnish with thin slices of Pecorino Romano. Butter the Pumpernickel shards and toast crisp in a pan or in the oven.
Sprinkle with capers and dot with the sweet onion mustard dressing and licorice root gastrique (or mint).
Even though these salads are almost identical in ingredients they convey a very different impression, the beets themselves notwithstanding. Creating your own variations with different dressings and different colored beets is recommended but remember–if you try to alternate golden beets with red beets, the red beets will quickly stain the golden beets. I learned this the hard way!