Golden Beets Quesso Seca
1.5 Cups cooked, peeled, and diced golden beets
2. Cups raw English peas
1. Ea shaved clove of elephant garlic (use a razor blade) super thin
2. Bskt fresh pea shoots
1. Bu pencil asparagus (cut on a severe bias) leave tips in tact (blanched)
1. Bskt teardrop cherry tomatoes (l like the red & golden mix)
1. Bu fresh mint
1/4. Cups minced shallots
1. Pkg Quesso Seco (grated)
1. Tbsp freshly toasted & ground cumin seed
3. Cups sliced 1/4 in thick crimini mushrooms (tossed in salt & lemon juice, then drained)
2. Cups extra virgin olive oil
4. Tbsp Banyuls vinegar or sherry vinegar
4. Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2. Tsp ground nutmeg
• Method of prep
Boil beets until almost fork tender, about 15 mins, peel beets with a kitchen towel (that you don't mind trashing) by gently rubbing over the skin, until the beet is smooth and bald. Level off the root end of the beet, to allow for a flat surface to split the beet down the center. Once cut in half, run the tip of your knife horizontally across until completely through to the end. Repeat this process until you have six planks of beets. Keep then uniform and tight, you will now bring your knife blade down vertically, once this is completed, begin to dice the beets into 1/4 size cuts. Set aside in a large mixing vessel.
Next add in washed and split in half cherry tomato, cleaned fresh English peas from their pods, pea shoots, shallots, shaved garlic.
Blanch Asparagus in boiling salted water for all of 15 seconds; remove from water with a perforated spoon or fine mesh strainer. Drop into salted iced water. Allow to cool and remove right away. Pat dry with a lint free kitchen side towel. Once dry add into beet mixture
After slicing the mushrooms, toss in a small amount of kosher salt (this will draw out the moisture from the mushrooms) once the liquid has exuded from the mushroom, add in the lemon juice (this will keep them, nice and white)
Remove the mushrooms from the lemon juice, and toss into the beet mixture. Add in the grated Quesso Seco and torn mint leaves at this point, mix gently and set aside.
Mix the extra virgin olive oil with the vinegar, freshly ground cumin seed and nutmeg. Mix the vinaigrette with the beet mixture in small batches so as not to drop the precious tender pea shoots. Be careful and make sure you season with fresh ground black pepper (fine) and kosher salt to taste
I love to serve this salad with either crusty bread or simply rolled up in a warm flour tortilla. This dish brings together the earthy tones of beets and the fresh springtime flavors of English peas.