Spring is in full swing here and the lengthening days have me thinking about garden parties and evenings spent outside with friends. This recipe is slightly more composed than some of the others I’ve posted here, but it would make a simple yet impressive appetizer for a party of 4 or a light supper for 2. If you have access to any edible flowers like chive blossoms, they would make a lovely garnish! The small diced beets in this dish along with the sieved egg and shallots mimic a traditional beef tartare, but are a great vegetarian alternative- in fact, I prefer this version to the classic.
2 medium beets
1 egg, hard boiled
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 small handful of chives, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of cheese- crumbled blue cheese, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan
2 cups salad greens
3 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the beets in a pot and cover with water by 1 1/2 inches. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until beets are easily pierced with a fork. When they are finished, remove them from the water and allow them to cool. When they are cool, use a paper towel to rub off the skin. Next, cut them into slices and cut the slices into small cubes. Set aside.
2. Cut the egg in half lengthwise and press through a mesh strainer or sieve. If you don’t have either of these finely chop the egg and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Set half of the dressing aside.
4. Place the chopped beets and shallots into the bowl with half the dressing and toss, coating everything lightly.
5. Place the beet mixture in a pile in the center of each plate. Top the beets with sieved egg and sliced chives. Then in the mixing bowl, add the remaining dressing along with the greens and the radishes and toss to coat. Gently pile the salad along the side of the beets. Scatter the cheese over the salad greens and beets. Enjoy with some rye crackers or crusty bread and glass of wine!