Yield: 4 Servings
|4 \N||Sprigs fresh thyme|
|\N \N||Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper|
|1½ teaspoon||Olive oil|
|1 cup||Kosher salt|
|2 mediums||Leeks; white part only|
|¼ pounds||Haricots verts|
|¼ pounds||Mache; frise'e or watercress|
|8 \N||Thin slices goat cheese|
|\N \N||Sherry Vinaigrette|
|½ cup||Walnuts; toasted|
|1 teaspoon||Sherry vinegar|
|1 teaspoon||Dijon mustard|
|¼ cup||Grapeseed oil|
|1 tablespoon||Walnut oil|
|\N \N||Coarse salt|
|\N \N||Freshly ground pepper|
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil; include a sprig of thyme on top of beet, salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle ¼ teaspoon olive oil in each package. Coat bottom of a small cast-iron skillet evenly with kosher salt. Place skillet in oven, and roast beets 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender enough to be pierced with a sharp knife. Allow them to cool, and peel skin off beets by rubbing in between a paper towel.
2. Quarter leeks horizontally, without cutting through the root end. Tie leeks together in a bunch with kitchen string.
3. Bring medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch haricots verts until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Place ice cubes in a medium mixing bowl and fill with cold water. Remove from pot with a strainer or slotted spoon, refresh in bowl of ice water, and drain. Blanch leeks in same pot, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
4. Heat remaining ½ teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts; toast until fragrant. Season with salt.
5. Arrange salad on individual plates by thinly slicing one beet per plate with a mandolin. Season beets with salt and pepper. Arrange haricots verts on top of beets, then add m=E2che. Drizzle vinaigrette over each salad.
Place two slices of goat cheese on each salad plate, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
1. In small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, and grapeseed and walnut oils. Season to taste.
NOTES: Riad Nasr, chef of Balthazar, one of New York City's most popular new restaurants, shows Martha Stewart how to compose this deliciously balanced salad of red beets, delicate m=E2che, leeks, haricots verts, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts. The flavors and textures play off each other perfectly.
Red beets--a great source of vitamin A--add rich color and sweetness; toasted walnuts and pungent goat cheese, preferably a fresh St. Maure from France, add texture and bite to this delicious salad.
M=E2che, a member of the chicory family, is an exceptional green also known as rapunzel, feldsalat, lamb's lettuce, and corn salad, the latter because it is often grown in cornfields. Very delicate, sweet, and nutty, it's an expensive treat because of its high perishability. The clusters are small, made up of smooth, velvety, tongue-shaped green leaves. Although perfect in a salad, it can also be cooked like spinach and used in combination with other delicate herbs and greens. If you are unable to find m=E2che, substitute frise or watercress.
Recipe by: Martha Stewart (Balthazar's chef Riad Nasr) Posted to recipelu-digest by "Valerie Whittle" <catspaw@...> on Feb 24, 1998