Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pickled beet salad with curly endive

Haakon made this really delicious salad. 

The best part was the overabundance of beet juice left over. 
Utilizing the power of SCIENCE aka baking soda to mess with the ph, I was later able to use this to color the frosting on my gingerbread cookies with a orange coffee glaze.  

Pickled beet salad with curly endive

Pickled beets

3 lb beets
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp caraway
a few cloves and allspices

Wrap the beets in foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. When they are cool, peel and cut into 3/4" cubes, and pickle in 1 part sugar to 2 parts vinegar. (I used the end of 3 bottles of vinegar, apple cider, rice, and white wine) Add the spices to the sugar and vinegar, bring to a boil and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, let cool a little and pour over the beets. I let this sit for a day, but longer would be even better.


1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp grainy mustard
3 large cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/4 lb blue cheese, crumbled

Dissolve the mustard in the lemon juice, and mix with other ingredients. Have a light hand when stirring so the blue cheese doesn't clump together again.

Green salad

a small head of curly endive
a bunch of scallions
small bunch flat parsley

Wash and trim all the greens Slice endive in 3/4 inch slices. Chop parsley coarsely. Slice scallions in 1/4 inch slices. Mix together.


1/3 cup pecans

just before serving, pour and spoon half the dressing onto the greens, and toss. Sprinkle with 1/6 cup pecans.  Remove the beets from their pickling juice and arrange on top.  Pour remaining dressing over and top with remaining pecans.

This started out as a traditional beet salad, maybe from Fannie Farmer, with pickled beets on a green salad, updated towards the typical modern beet salad

The roasting gives a slightly smoky flavor, but I'm not sure that much is left after pickling. Probably boiling would be almost as good. Most similar recipes call for arugula. I love arugula, but the arugula was expensive and not that good, so I decided to try the endive instead, which also has a nice bitter flavor. Watercress, dandelion greens, regular endive, radicchio, or escarole should also work.

You can also cut the beets in 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices (maybe cutting them in halves or quarters if they are large), and pickle them with similar slices of onions. In this case, omit the scallions.

Candied Grapefruit Peels

Part of Haakons holiday gift from work was a giant box of grapefruits. We've been trying to figure out interesting ways to use them and this is one Haakon came up with. Have any other ideas? Leave a comment bellow.

He used the Epicurious recipe and made a couple variations, one with a sugar coating and one diped in chocolate. The chocolate pairs really well with the grapefruit, with a pretty complex interplay of different tastes. It's pretty awesome.

My next idea is to melt the dark chocolate and use some of my szechuan pepper infused vodka to add a spicy numbing sensation to the chocolate. 

This and some other really awesome desserts were brought to the table this Christmas feast.

The candied peels drying on a baking rack. 

Taken by: Haakon
Date: December 25, 2012 11:18:13 AM EST