Beet Tartare

"I created this dish for a tasting menu in which we played with the way foods are perceived," says Sam Fertik, executive chef of Orange and Olive in Jersey City. "This beet tartare gave me the feeling of eating a beautiful beef tartare in Paris."

Beet Tartare from Orange and Olive in Jersey City.

Ingredients:

2 lbs fresh beets
1 cup mirin
1 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Oil-(1/3 lemon juice mixed with 2/3 olive oil or grapeseed oil)
Ginger Vinegar (available in Asian markets or Asian section of many supermarkets)
Fresh chives, mustard green or other microgreens

Method:

1. Peel 1 pound of beets and cut them into chunks.
2. Place the beets, champagne vinegar, mirin, sugar and a pinch of salt into a saucepan and add enough water to just barely cover. Cook until beets are tender.
3. Blend in a blender until very smooth. Check the seasoning, adding more sugar or vinegar to make the purée equally sweet and sour yet full of beet flavor. That is the gastrique.
4. Meanwhile, place the rest of the beets, unpeeled, in a large, heavy sheet of aluminum foil and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal the foil packet and roast in a 400 F oven until tender, about 45 minutes.
5. Remove beets from foil, let cool just until you can hold and carefully peel them by using a paper towel to remove the skin.
6. When fully cool, cut the beets into quarter-inch cubes and season with olive oil, lemon oil, ginger vinegar, salt and pepper.
7. Place some gastrique on each of several small saucers, then put seasoned beet cubes on top. Garnish with chives, mustard greens or other microgreens.

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