Hi Everyone! It is Angelee, the Chef at the Antlers at Vail! Every time it seems winter is coming to an end, our wish gets granted and we are blessed with more snow…This recipe is one of my favorites and perfect for an unexpected cold day: A warm, roasted beet salad with oozing Brie. Don’t rush this recipe if you don’t have to: roast the beets a day ahead, let them rest and they will reward you with an unexpected sweetness. But do try to have some disposable gloves on hand; otherwise they will leave your finger tips a lovely shade of purple! Pair this salad with a roasted loin of pork and couscous, garlic bread and a nice Pinot Noir for a fabulous meal!!
Roasted Beet, Watercress and Warmed Brie Salad
4-5 Red or Golden Beets (I like to use both) **
1.5T Vegetable Oil
2 Bunches Micro Watercress (or use Baby Arugula if Watercress is unavailable)
4 individual wedges of Brie (I would use half of a small wheel for 4 portions)
1/3 C White Balsamic Vinegar
1 ¼ C Olive Oil (Mix ¾C Extra Virgin and ½C Pure or Grapeseed Oil)
Fresh Thyme Leaves to garnish
Freshly Ground Pepper to garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 350*. Cut off just the tip and bottom of the beets. In a bowl, toss the beets with the oil. Wrap lightly in aluminum foil and roast until tender, about 1-1.5 hours. (You can test for doneness by sticking a knife into the thickest part of the beet. If it slides in and out easily, they are finished roasting. You will also know they are finished because the skin will slide off easily.)
While the beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, add the vinegar and the honey. Whisk to dissolve the honey. (Warmed honey dissolves the easiest…) Season with salt then begin to slowly drizzle the oil into the vinegar, whisking to emulsify. (If you put a folded kitchen towel under the bowl, it will stay in place making it much easier to whisk…) Continue until you have a nice, emulsified vinaigrette. Put aside until ready to use.
Once the beets have finished roasting, either let them rest at room temperature OR peel, quarter and season with salt. Put aside and keep warm if you will be serving it immediately. Leave the oven at 350*. When ready to serve, cut off the root end and at least 1/3 of the stem of the watercress. Gently pat dry. Put the beets (still in their foil) into the oven for 5 minutes and then add the Brie for another 3 minutes or so, to warm through. In a bowl, add the beets, toss with some of the vinaigrette (adjusting the amount to your taste), season with salt and gently fold in the watercress and the fresh thyme leaves.
Divide the salad onto four plates. I like to put the tip of the wedge of the warmed Brie resting on the salad at 4 o’clock, if you were looking at a clock. Sprinkle some reserved thyme leaves and freshly cracked pepper, if you would like and serve!!! It is delicious!! If you really want to go over the top, drizzle some white truffle oil if you have it over the salad…Magnifique!!
**If the Golden Beets are extremely small, either double the amount or omit them and use only Red. I like the variety in color; it looks great on a plate. Be sure to keep the Red and Golden separate because the Red will bleed onto the Golden and they will become red…