Beet Salad With Oranges, Grilled Scallions and Black Sesame Paste
I have to confess that when I set out to update this recipe for this book, I realized that the original had the title of “Beet Salad, Goat Cheese, Romaine, Candied Walnuts, and Pickled Apple.” I joked that 2002 called and they want their beet salad with goat cheese back. It’s true, I proudly served that salad ten years ago at parties–everybody did!–and even made little goat cheese fritters. Those still taste very wonderful together, but it doesn’t seem as fresh to me as it did back then. That’s why I’m giving you this recipe instead, a dish recently updated by our chef de cuisine Sam Filloramo, one of my favorite cooks of all time. The sesame, grilled scallions, and oranges bring bling to the beets and make them sing in a brand-new way, while totally keeping with the original style and flavor profiles of The Good Fork. If you can’t find yuzu juice (yuzu is a great sour Japanese citrus fruit, most often sold here as bottled juice), fresh lime juice is fine.
For the Salad:
- 4 medium beets, scrubbed and cleaned
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed
- 1 orange, peel and pith removed, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch (6-mm)-thick slices
For the Sesame Seed Paste:
- 1/2 cup (60g) black sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Beet Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 roasted beet (see directions)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 4 teaspoons yuzu or fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) grapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C)
Make the salad: place the beets in a medium ovenproof skillet—do not trim or peel them—and rub with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a few generous pinches of salt. Add 1 cup (240ml) water to the pan and cover it tightly with foil. Roast the beets for 1 hour, or until they are easily pierced with the tines of a fork. Remove the beets from the skillet to cool.
Wipe the skillet clean; add the scallions to the skillet, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to mix and roast uncovered for 15 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned, then set aside.
When the beets are cool enough to touch, trim off the tops and peel them by rubbing the skin off with a clean dishtowel or paper towel. Set aside half a beet for the vinaigrette; cut the remaining beets into 1/2-inch (12-mm) wedges and set them aside. Cut the scallions into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces and set them aside.
Make the sesame seed paste: toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until they smell toasty, about 1 minute. In a blender, grind the toasted sesame seeds, then add 1/2 cup (120ml) water, a little at a time, blending until a paste forms. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the sesame oil to make an emulsion. (It’s important to add both the water and oil slowly, so the mixture does not break.) Add the honey and salt, and blend just to combine. Refrigerate the mixture until you prepare the salad.
Make the vinaigrette: in a blender or small food processor, combine the reserved 1/2 beet, soy sauce, mustard, shallot, yuzu juice, and honey and puree until the mixture is relatively smooth. With the blender or food processor running, drizzle in the grapeseed oil slowly until an emulsion forms. Set aside while you make the salad. (This will make about 1 cup/240ml; any extra dressing should be refrigerated and used within a week.)
Finish the salad: toss the beets in 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Brush the black sesame seed paste onto a large platter, then layer on the oranges and beets. Top with the scallion pieces and garnish with a teaspoon of sesame seeds. Drizzle the salad with additional vinaigrette as desired and serve immediately.
Reprinted from “The Good Fork Cookbook” by Sohui Kim. Published by Harry N. Abrams.