Thursday, March 05, 2009

Smoked Fish and Beet Salad

I was going through my recent food pics, and I have so many tasty things to blog about! I love when there's great material in the hopper. Sometimes I dismiss certain recipes or idea because I'm afraid it isn't intriguing enough; or the photo isn't mouth-watering enough; or it's too simple, believe it or not! From now on, anything goes if it tastes good, or if it's interesting.

So, how did I choose among my array of tasty, bloggable options? It was easy, but it also depends on your (hopefully!) endless fascination with beets. I know, I could have picked a more exciting vegetable to write about twice in a row. But maybe you bought a bunch to make the beet risotto and have a few left over. Roast all of those babies, and give this salad a try.

It's one of those fabulously unnecessary composed salads built in a cylindrical mold. In my case, the mold was a can of pineapple rings opened on both ends and washed out, of course. Once you roast the beets, it's dead simple. Buy any smoked whitefish you like. We picked up mackerel (load with omega-3's by the way!) at Whole Foods, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how addictively delicious it was. All that remains is tossing the chopped beets with vinaigrette; likewise with the watercress and packing it into your mold.

I found this recipe in the November issue of Gourmet. I love those November and December issues. Yes, it's all decadent holiday food and you couldn't possibly make half of it, and each recipes serves approximately 48 people. But, I always get great ideas, especially for sides. I'll hold onto them and look over previous years when I'm building a holiday menu. This salad is a beautiful first course, or just put it together and serve it in place of a side dish.

Gourmet's version calls for smoked sable, but we loved the mackerel. I'd get any fish but salmon here. You can cut the recipe in half like I did. I also did closer to a half vinegar-half olive oil ratio in my dressing, as I usually do.

So tell me, have you ever roasted a bunch of beets? Do you plan on making beet risotto from the last post? Mark of Real Food Has Curves had a great idea to add the beet greens to the risotto. They are delicious and similar to Swiss chard, so use them if you've got them! If you are a beet lover, how do you like to eat them?


Carrie said...

I love--LOVE--roasted beets. My favorite way to eat them is on a salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and a simple vinaigrette. Chevre in place of the blue cheese is also a winner. We get new beets with their greens from the CSA in the summer and eating the beets with their greens is pretty great. If the beets are really small, I just steam them first, let the liquid evaporate, and then saute the greens right in that pan. Yum.

Mark Scarbrough said...

Julie, you know I always admire your recipes: simple, clean, and not fussed up. Thank God!

And I love beets. Love them. When I first met Bruce, he wasn't much of a vegetable eater. I set out to change that. One night, I roasted a ton of beets for a salad with frisee, endive, shaved fennel, and smoked salmon. Lovely with some crisp white wine. Anyway, he'd never had a roasted beet--and was undone. Until the next morning. Um, you know. He pulled me aside sometime after breakfast and said, "I think I have to go to the hospital. I'm bleeding." Then I got to tell him ALL about beets. Boy, we've laughed and laughed about that one over the years.

Daniel said...

I discovered your blog for the first time today and I'm enjoying reading your archives.

And I love how you made a "mold" out of a recycled can...just goes to show that you don't need waste money on fancy equipment to make an impressive meal!

Casual Kitchen

Julie said...

Carrie: yep, goat cheese is the best with beets, even though it stains instantly.
Mark: aw, thanks. That's pretty funny:) I'm a total veggie evangelist, so I would have done the same thing.
Dan: Thanks for reading!