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Salad of Heirloom Beets, Anjou Pear, Mâche, Candied Walnuts, and Blue Apron Goat Cheese Coulis

Source: Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide by Thomas Keller
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  4 servings
4 small red beets
4 small pink beets
4 small yellow beets
75 grams canola oil
15 black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
9 thyme sprigs
30 grams kosher salt, plus more to taste
45 grams extra virgin olive oil
60 grams sherry vinegar

Candied Walnuts:
150 grams water
150 grams granulated sugar
100 grams raw walnuts
Canola oil for deep-frying

Goat Cheese Coulis
40 grams buttermilk
40 grams crème fraîche
25 grams canola oil
150 grams fresh goat cheese
2 grams champagne vinegar
Kosher salt

Beet Reduction
465 grams beet juice
5 grams granulated sugar
Red wine vinegar
Kosher salt

1 kilogram cold water
3 1/3 grams ascorbic acid
1 Anjou or Asian pear
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Baby mâche
Extra virgin olive oil
Champagne vinegar
Fleur de sel
Beet Powder (see below)
For the Beets:

Wash the beets and trim the stems to about 1 inch. Put each type of beet on a piece of aluminum foil. Divide the canola oil, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, and salt among the beets, wrap up in the foil, and place on a sheet tray. Roast at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until there is no resistance when the beets are pierced with a sharp knife. Cool slightly.

When they are cool enough to handle, rub each warm beet with a paper towel to remove the skin. Trim away the stems and roots.

Place each type of beet in its own bag and season each with 15 grams of the olive oil, 20 grams of the sherry vinegar, and salt to taste. Vacuum-pack on high. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

For the Candied Walnuts:

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. (When you candy nuts, the simple syrup should just cover them.) Stir in the walnuts and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer very gently, adjusting the heat as necessary, for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the liquid reduces and the nuts are glazed. As the syrup reduces, stir the nuts from time to time to cook them evenly. Pour out onto a rack set over a sheet pan. Separate any nuts that have stuck together.

Heat the canola oil to about 325°F. Add about half the nuts- do not crowd them- and fry, moving them around from time to time, until they are a rich brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining nuts. Once cooled, the walnuts can be cut into smaller pieces as desired.

For the Beet Reduction:

Bring the beet juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and boil to reduce. Each time you can see a ring around the side of the pan, strain the juice into a clean pan. Reduce until the juice has reduced by three-quarters. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and the reduction is at the desired viscosity. Add a few drops of red wine vinegar and salt to taste.

For the Pear:

Combine the water and ascorbic acid in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the ascorbic acid. Peel the pear. Working quickly, since the pear can discolor, cut into 1/2-inch wedges: to cut perfect wedges, leave the pear whole and cut the wedges away from it, stopping short of the core. As you cut, drop the wedges into the acidulated water. Drain the wedges and toss with a light coating of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place in a single layer in a bag and vacuum-pack on high.

For the Goat Cheese Coulis:

Combine the buttermilk, crème fraîche, and oil in a Vita-Prep and blend well. Add the cheese and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Strain through a chinois or fine-mesh conical strainer into a bowl. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt.

For the Beet Powder:

Blot about 55 grams of finely chopped beats with paper towels to extract excess moisture. Spread in a thin even layer on a dehydrator tray and dry completely. Let cool to room temperature. Grind the beets to a powder in a coffee or spice grinder. Store in a tightly covered container or jar.

At Service:

With a spoon, sweep some goat cheese coulis across the top half of each plate. Brush a band of beet reduction over the bottom. Lightly dress the mâche leaves with olive oil, champagne vinegar, and fleur de sel. Arrange the beets on the plates, garnish with the mâche and walnut pieces, and sprinkle the plates with beet powder and fleur de sel.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Artisan Publishing. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 03/18/2009
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