Beets seem to be one of the reoccurring ingredients here at Cooking Bouchon. First there was roasted beet salad, and now this. If you have read the other post, you'll soon figure out that this one was much better. There's not going to be too many pictures here, so read carefully.
The ingredients are fairly simple, although there are quite a few. We have walnuts, baby beets, olive oil, red wine vinegar, mache lettuce, shallots, chives, chervil, tarragon, parsley, some delicious walnut vinaigrette, and fresh goat cheese.
Just the herbs alone will set you back $15 if you don't have some growing on your windowsill. Lucky for me, we have herbs growing on just about every windowsill. Unlucky for me, none of them are called tarragon or chervil. 50% ain't bad.
I toasted the walnuts for about seven minutes to make them nice and tasty. To be honest, the first time I toasted them for ten minutes just like the book says to and they ended up nice and burnt. While the second batch was toasting, I cleaned and trimmed the beets and tossed them in some olive oil, some water, salt, and pepper. They went into a covered pan and into the oven for about an hour. Oh, you think I'm an idiot? I covered the pan after I put the beets in, thanks.
I employed the Thomas Keller beet peeling technique after they were done and had cooled for a few minutes. I put them in a paper towel and rubbed the skin right off. It's pretty easy even if it does leave you with what would appear to be a murder scene cover up in your trash can. Once they were peeled, I cut them into quarters and tossed them will a little more salt and pepper, some olive oil, and vinegar.
For the mache, which is one of the better lettuces I've had, I tossed it with the herbs and shallots and some of the walnut vinaigrette. The recipe called for tossing it with only a tablespoon of vinaigrette (which I thought was ludicrously little), but it was just about right.
Now it's time for assembly. I made a nice little mound of mache in the middle of the plate, and surrounded it with the walnuts, beets, and goat cheese. I also sprinkled some more vinaigrette around the outside of the plate.
It was pretty incredibly good for a simple salad. The goat cheese we bought was very good, and when mixed with the nuts and beets it was perfect. The vinaigrette was tart but not overwhelmingly so and the mache was neither overpowering nor underwhelming. All in all, a pretty great salad.
2 years ago