SEATTLE — Author and James-Beard award winning chef Dan Kluger shares his recipe for Roasted Beets with Crispy Sunchokes from his debut cookbook, Chasing Flavor: Techniques and Recipes to cook Fearlessly.
Recipe: Roasted Beets with Crispy Sunchokes and Orange-Ginger Puree
From Chasing Flavor: Techniques and Recipes to cook Fearlessly, Makes 4 Servings
This dish is an exercise in contrasting textures and flavors. Roasted beets are not that interesting to eat by themselves, so I put them atop a bed of citrusy pickled ginger puree, which is pungent, acidic, and sweet. The combination of beets and ginger gives you a great spectrum of flavors, but there’s not much texture to be had, so I top them with toasted cashews and a mess of crispy sunchoke chips—a crunchy topping you can also use to add an earthy crunch to a salad, soup, pasta, or vegetable dish. Lastly, some chopped orange segments sprinkled over the dish add little explosions of sweet acidity.
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
- Strips of zest (no pith) from 1 medium orange
- 2½ ounces fresh ginger (about one 5-inch piece), peeled and thinly shaved (use a mandoline if you have one)
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ Thai chile, with seeds
PLACE THE zest strips in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then drain. Repeat this process two more times (blanching the orange zest removes any bitter flavors). Place the ginger and orange zest in a jar or heatproof container. In a saucepan, bring the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, and ¾ teaspoon salt to a boil. Pour over the ginger and orange. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The pickled ginger can be refrigerated for a couple of months.
DRAIN THE pickled ginger and orange and save 3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid. Add both to a blender or mini food processor, along with the olive oil, chile, and remaining 2 tablespoons salt. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the side of the blender as needed. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. The puree can be made a couple of days ahead.
- 1½ pounds beets (use a mix of colors if possible), about 5 medium
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
PREHEAT THE oven to 375°F. Place the beets in a baking dish (if using a mix of red and golden beets, separate them into two smaller dishes and divide the oil, vinegar, and water between the two dishes). Drizzle with the oil and add the vinegar and water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife; this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the beets. Let the beets cool, then peel and cut into 1-inch wedges. Place each color of beet, along with any accumulated juices, into a small mixing bowl.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup roughly chopped cashews
IN A skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the cashews and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Transfer to a heatproof bowl.
MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP
- Vegetable oil
- 4 large sunchokes, thinly shaved (use a mandoline if you have one)
- Kosher salt
POUR 1 inch of oil into a small saucepan and add the sunchokes (there should be just enough oil to cover the sunchokes; add more oil if needed). Turn the heat to medium and stir occasionally; when the sunchokes begin to sizzle and foam, increase the temperature to high and continue frying, stirring constantly, until the sunchokes are light golden brown. At this point the sun-chokes will rapidly go from golden brown to burnt, so quickly transfer the chips to paper towels to drain. Lightly season with salt. The sunchoke chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or until they start to soften.
- 1 medium orange
- Roasted Beets
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup Orange-Ginger Puree
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted Cashews
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill fronds
- Sunchoke Chips
USING A sharp knife, cut the peel and pith off the orange. Working over a bowl, cut the orange between the membranes to release the segments. Dice the segments, then return them to the bowl.
DRIZZLE THE beet wedges with a little bit of olive oil, season with salt, and toss.
SPREAD THE ginger puree on the bottom of a shallow serving bowl or plate. Arrange the beets over the puree. Sprinkle the chopped orange segments over the beets and grind some pepper over the dish. Top with the cashews, herbs, and sunchoke chips. Serve.
THE TAKEAWAY: Light, crispy sunchoke chips are a great crunchy topping for using on salads, as they are here, or as a garnish for braised greens, soups, or chili. Like Crispy Garlic (page 246) and Crispy Shallots (page 88), I start the sunchokes in cold oil and heat everything together. Once they start frying, the sunchokes will turn light golden brown; this is when you should remove them from the oil, as they’ll quickly go from golden brown to burnt. Once cooled, they should stay crispy for a day or two, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
ABOUT THE BOOK: "Dan Kluger, a chef celebrated for his simple yet flavorful food, knows there’s more to mastering cooking than just following directions. So with each of the innovative, elegant recipes in his debut cookbook, he includes a valuable lesson that applies beyond the tasty dish. From homemade pantry items to vegetable mains, meats, and grains, this book is not just sophisticated recipes but a master class of lessons for more flexibility and innovation in the kitchen." dankluger.com