Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Roasted Beets With Duck Confit And Toasted Hazelnuts

Roasted Beets with Duck Confit and Toasted Hazelnuts
Christine's original recipe
3 medium red beets, roasted
duck confit from one leg, cut into slivers
3 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons blackberry balsamic pear vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard, such as Maille
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I wish I'd had hazelnut oil)
A few grains kosher salt
A few grinds black peppercorns
A celery leaf from the heart of the bunch for garnish

To make the dressing, combine the vinegar and mustard in a glass measuring cup and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add a tiny pinch of kosher salt to taste along with a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk and set aside.

To roast the beets, wash and trim them and wrap each one in a square of foil, bringing the edges to the top of each beet and sealing them. Place on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and open the foil to allow the beets to cool slightly.When they can be handled without burning your hands, peel the beets and thinly slice crosswise.

To toast the hazelnuts (and hopefully you will have done this long before now), place them on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven and toast them for no more than 12 to 15 minutes, watching them carefully so they don't burn. When they smell delicious, they're done. Pour the nuts onto a dishtowel and, bringing the towel over the nuts, rub them until much of the brown skin comes off. Not all of it will be removed and that's okay.

To assemble, place a very small pool of vinaigrette on a small plate and top with several slices of beet followed by the slivered duck confit and some coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle a bit more vinaigrette around and over, garnish with a celery leaf and serve.

Cooks' Notes:
The vinegar used for the salad dressing is from Tulocay's Made in Napa Valley. It's thick and rich and was a perfect compliment to the beets and duck.
This was served along side a bowl of cream of celery soup, the recipe for which is posted here.

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