My wife and I have traveled Southeast Asia for the past two months. While we have fallen in love with the cuisine and it surely has inspired my cooking (recipes to follow in later editions), I still find myself craving certain dishes.
This recipe comes from a year stint I did onboard a yacht where every lunch would consist of five courses of salads. Consider that boss trips could span 15 days and you can understand the variations I would have to concoct to avoid repetition.
This salad I loved, as chanterelles were in season. (You can substitute portobellos or even button.) The simplicity highlights the natural earthy flavors, with acidity, spice and sweetness round it off.
8 beets, individually wrapped in foil
1 cup pine nuts
2 chanterelle mushrooms, cut thinly
1 chili, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 grapefruits, zested and segmented
3 oranges, zested and segmented
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (whole grain)
1 Tbsp agave honey
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
1 bunch chives, cut in 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place wrapped beets on a tray and bake for 3 hours.
Remove beets and place pine nuts on the tray. Bake until brown, 2-4 minutes. Watch them because they burn quickly. Remove and allow to cool.
Once the beets have cooled, under running water and using your hands, push off the skin and chop off the ends. Quarter and place in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
In another bowl, add the chanterelles, chili, thyme leaves and juice from the grapefruits and oranges. Mix and set aside.
In a third bowl, combine the Dijon, agave, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Whisk.
Evenly lay the beets, citrus segments and chanterelles on a plate (not a bowl).
Drizzle some of the salad dressing, then garnish with pomegranate seeds and chives.
Top with some cracked black pepper. Enjoy.