Architecture and design aren’t restricted to the homes and offices in which we live and work. Color, texture, proportion and form all come into the design of a beautifully-plated dish.
“Rooted in Color” was inspired by 303’s April Design Issue. The plate is the foundation; the main structure is a checkerboard pattern of red and yellow beets. The fun of playing with food is the versatility of our medium. In this case, the beets could have been sliced and stacked into a tower, or julienned and piled into a haystack or molded into a round disc. It’s okay to play with your food and to find fun, creative ways to adorn your dinner plate.
For this recipe, carrot and mango juices, laced with garlic and ginger, are simmered to a syrup then drizzled onto the plate’s stark white canvas. This is where your artistic side can also shine. A palette of colors is hiding in your freezer. A bag of frozen peas or corn can be puréed with vegetable stock and drizzled under a light mound of mashed potatoes and topped with a pink salmon. You will be surprised at the art that is hiding in your kitchen cupboard, too. Be adventurous and explore.
“Rooted in Color” has a complicated component in the building of the checkerboard. However, you do not need to go to that effort to enjoy this dish. A very simple option is to slice the beets and stack the alternating colors with a dollop of the chive cream in between. And don’t worry. You do not need to make your own carrot juice. These sauces are simple to prepare thanks to Bolthouse® Farms. They offer a nearly-full palette of colors with their natural juices. All you have to do is simmer them and infuse them with other ingredients such as lemon grass, ginger, or whatever else your imagination can muster.
You now have permission to play with your food.
ROOTED IN COLOR – BEET AND SEA GRASS SALAD, CARROT AND MANGO REDUCTIONS, CHIVE CREAM
2 yellow beets, washed, leaving ½” of stems attached
2 red beets, washed, leaving ½” of stems attached
1 cup sea grass
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
hazelnut or light olive oil
4 oz goat cheese
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons hazelnut or olive oil
2/3 oz chives, chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
3 tablespoons Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango juice
1 cup Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango Juice
1 clove of garlic, halved
3 ¼” thick slices of ginger
1 1/2 cup Bolthouse Farms Amazing Carrot Juice
1 clove of garlic, halved
• Place the beets in boiling, salted water. Boil the beets for 40 minutes or until knife tender. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water until cool. Dunk sea grass into the beet water and blanch for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.
• Simmer mango juice, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepot for 15 minutes or until reduced to a thick but fluid syrup. If it becomes too thick, dilute with a few drops of remaining juice or water.
• Simmer carrot juice and garlic in a small saucepot for 15 minutes or until reduced to a thick but fluid syrup.
• In a mini blender, combine the goat cheese, sour cream, oil, chives, mint, mango juice and purée until smooth. Add more juice to thin the cream if it is too firm.
• Starting with the yellow beets, cut away the stems and peel. Use a mandolin to cut into fine julienne. Set aside in a separate bowl. Repeat with the red beets. Toss both bowls of beets with enough oil to coat, equal amounts of parsley and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place mound of red beets in center of plate. Top with a mound of yellow beets. Place a spoonful of chive cream on the plate and spread into a teardrop shape. Top the chive cream with a few stems of sea grass. Drizzle the plate with the carrot and mango sauce reductions. Sprinkle the plate with finely chopped parsley.
Boiling the beets with the stems and skin on helps to preserve the beet juices from bleeding out.