Pickled Beet and Braised Beet Top Salad
Source: Ben Paula, Sauce
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 11, 2015.
Makes 4 to 6 side-dish portions
2 bunches small golden beets, cleaned thoroughly
2 bunches small red beets, cleaned thoroughly
2 cups sugar
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
4 quarts distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ pound arugula
Cyprus or other flake salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Separate the beets, stems, and leaves and put the stems and leaves aside. Place each color beet in its own roasting pan with 2 quarts of distilled white vinegar and 2 quarts of water. To each pan add 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 bay leaf and 5 black peppercorns. Cover the pans tightly and roast for 1 hour, or until fork tender. Meanwhile, chop the beet stems. If the beet leaves are large, cut them in half lengthwise.
Remove the cooked beets from the oven and drain the liquid into a large pot. Add the stems to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until they’re tender. Strain the stems, reserving the liquid and returning it to the pot. Add the leaves to the pot and cook until tender. Shock the leaves in ice water and drain them thoroughly. Cook the braising liquid over medium-high heat, reducing it to syrup consistency. Set aside for garnishing. Remove the beet skins from the cooled beets with a paper towel or clean dish towel. Slice or chop the beets as desired.
To serve, place the beets on a plate or platter, then garnish with the stems, leaves, and arugula. Drizzle with the beet syrup and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.