Monday, September 17, 2007
golden beet terrine
If you have ever peeled beets with your bare hands, you know what a pain the deeply reddish purple stains can be. Golden beets lack this pigmentation, and thus won't discolor your skin or nails. The variety is called Burpee's Golden, a beautifully sunny and golden colored flesh that is both earthy and sweet. I love beets for this reason; it's a diamond in the rough. Not much to look at from the exterior, no lush leaves, fragrance, or attractive coloration, they are actually quite awkward looking, all dimpled and hairy, covered and caked in dirt. But as you slice and peel back a cooked beet, the intense hues are spectacular, and the marbling equally as grand as a piece of Kobe beef. The smell that wafts up to your nose is sweet, like the earth after a rainshower.
I made this terrine (a pressed pate) using a soft farmer's cheese from a local creamery called South Mountain, but mild chevre would be just as great. It's creamy and flavored with red peppers. A final sprinkle of herbs, toasted pinenuts (or walnuts), and a drizzle of infused oil makes this a wonderful appetizer or party dish.
Golden Beet Terrine
South Mountain Creamery Farmer's Cheese, Toasted Pinenuts, White Truffle Oil
12 oz. chevre or other soft cheese
3-4 Tbsp creme fraiche
1 Tbsp honey
2-3 large golden beets
salt and pepper to taste
white truffle oil
chopped parsley, basil, or other fresh herb
1. Scrub the beets well, wrap each individually in foil, and bake at 375F for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. When pierced with a knife, the beets should be tender. Let cool. Using a paring knife, peel the skins off the beets and slice into thin (1/16"-1/8" pieces).
2. In a bowl, whip the chevre until smooth, then add in the creme fraiche. Add the honey and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Line a small loaf pan (I use a 7.5"x3.75"x2.5") with saran wrap. Spread a layer of the cheese on the bottom. On top of this, arrange a thin layer of the beets. Repeat this process until you run out of cheese mixture. Fold the plastic wrap over the middle of the loaf pan, and gently use the palm of your hand to press down to even out the layers and release any air bubbles.
4. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.
5. Unwrap the terrine, slice, and arrange on your serving dish. Top with herbs, pinenuts, and drizzle with truffle oil.