Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

As you know,  I love food and travel, so I am really excited about this new book! Admired for its long tradition of gracious hospitality inspired by local cuisine and culture, Relais & Châteaux presents “The Art of Entertaining,” its first book dedicated to sharing the secrets to crafting outstanding parties and events nuanced to replicate unforgettable experiences at home.  Set for an October 2016 release from Rizzoli New York, the compilation brings to life 17 seasonal parties from Relais & Châteaux members across North America. Each chapter is designed to celebrate the senses in a unique environment with exquisite food and cocktail recipes, creative décor and the thoughtful, creative touches for which Relais & Châteaux is renowned.

Cover_Art of Entertaining

In this gorgeous new book, some of North America’s most renowned chefs and innkeepers share their thoughts, recipes and secrets for successful entertaining at home to inspire readers.

With 85 Relais & Châteaux properties located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada, the opportunities to share entertaining tips, tricks and expertise are endless. The themes featured within this first book are hinged on delicious gourmet recipes that can be easily executed. You’ll also new ideas for tablescapes and décor from the beautiful backdrop of the legendary Relais & Châteaux venues.

This Meadowood Garden Beet Salad is one of Meadowood’s favorite dishes during the summer harvest season. The beets can be small heirloom varietals of all colors and stripes (literally). Chef Alejandro Ayala recommends taking some artistic license with the presentation; he cuts the beets into various shapes as well as paper-thin cross sections. The salad is at once both bright and earthy, and the pistachio “soil” is an unexpected, at-home, twist.

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad


12 servings


5 pounds assorted beets
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Orange-Lemon Dressing
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

6 large beets
1 cup pistachio nuts
Maldon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whipped Goat Cheese
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 sheets gelatin, bloomed (soaked for 5 minutes in cold water)
10 to 12 ounces fresh goat cheese


1. For the beets: Preheat the oven to 300F. Remove the stems and wash the beets well. In a roasting pan, combine the beets, sugar, kosher salt, olive oil, and enough water to cover the beets halfway. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the beets until fork tender, about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the peels by hand or using a kitchen towel. Cut the beets into an assortment of sizes and shapes (planks, cubes, small ones whole, or just cut in half or quarters).

2. For the dressing: Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, and kosher salt in an airtight container. Shake until emulsified.

3. For the Pistachio-Beet Mixture
Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Juice the beets in a juicer. Reserve the juice for another use. Measure out 2 cups of the beet pulp.

Spread the beet pulp evenly on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and dry, stirring and turning the tray intermittently, until completely dehydrated, about 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Increase the heat to 300F. Toast the pistachios for 4 to 6 minutes, or toast in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Let cool. Grind the pistachios well in a food processor.

In a medium bowl, mix the dehydrated beets and ground pistachios, seasoning with the sea salt and stirring in the olive oil. It should have a crumbly, coarse consistency.

5. For the goat cheese: Whip 2 cups of the cream to medium peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator.

In a small saute pan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup cream to about 115F, just warm enough to melt the bloomed gelatin. Add the gelatin to the cream and incorporate. Place the goat cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour the cream and gelatin mixture over the cheese and mix until combined and the consistency of paste. Place the bowl in an ice bath and whisk to cool quickly. (Be sure to whisk continuously so the gelatin sets properly.) Once the mixture is cool, fold in the whipped cream in batches, gently folding to keep as much air as possible in the cream.

6. To plate: Lightly coat the roasted beets with dressing to taste and season with a touch of sea salt. Place a base layer of beets on serving plates. Sprinkle the soil in a few places. Continue building with layers of beets of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Lightly dress the shaved beets and arrange them throughout the cooked beets. Sprinkle with more soil. Add a quenelle or small dabs of whipped goat cheese and garnish with the amaranth.
If you like, finish the top of the goat cheese with black Hawaiian sea salt for some extra contrast.

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