Roasted Beet Salad and Beet Consomme

Beets are one of those ingredients that most people love or hate, there isn't a whole lot of middle ground. For those that don't like beets, I would say the majority were probably forced to eat pickled beets as  children and haven't recovered from that yet.  For all of those I would recommend giving them a try again and discovering that beets can be delicious.  I was part of that group for a long time until one night a while back a friend of mine had showed me a video of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstahl making brownies out of beets.  That peaked my curiosity and I started trying beets every where I went.  I have had a lot of really wonderful roasted beet salads and thought I would try to through one together myself.  I had also read about a beet consomme that sounded interesting so I thought I would give that  try as well.

The beet salads I have tried are all very different in what all goes into them.  I have had a few that involve apples and are kind of like a coleslaw and a few that involve toasted nuts and blue cheese.  These are my favorite, there is something about the combination of blue cheese crumbles and pecans that scream for beets.  I had also eaten a roasted beet and strawberry terrine with pecorino cheese that was mind blowing.  So for my salad I thought I would go with my favorite.  Candied pecans, blue cheese roasted beets and some romaine lettuce, to spruce it up a little I made a vinegarette with olive oil and a white truffle infused balsamic vinegar.  Let me tell you this is one of the best salads I think I have ever made.  I candied the pecans with buckwheat honey, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and ground chipotle pepper just for kick.  The beets were perfect and added just the right blend of earthy sweetness that the salad needed, and the vinegarette was outstanding.

As far as the beet consomme goes it really couldn't be easier.  Mine is a variation of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstahl's.   You start with beef or chicken stock or if you wanted I am sure a good vegetable stock would work as well.  Then you cut the beet into small match sticks.  After the stock is simmering you add the beets  and two cloves of smashed garlic, bring to a boil turn of the heat add salt and pepper to taste then filter through cheese cloth and serve with some of the beet matchstick in the bowl.  Easy and delicious.  Combined the consomme and the salad make a perfect lunch.