Monday, 5 May 2014

Roasted Beet and Chicory Salad with Brie Pané





A little while back I shared a slow cooked vegetable dish inspired by one of the episodes in Raymond Blanc's video series How To Cook Well. I've been meaning to recreate another one of his dishes from another episode where he made a roasted beetroot and goat cheese salad. He made it look so easy and irresistible. He roasted beets in a papillote (envelope) of metal foil and then tossed them with fresh chicory. The burgundy liquid that extracted from the beets during cooking became the base for a dressing with shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a splash of water to thin it. He breaded a small wheel of goat cheese and then roasted it at a high heat to crisp up the breading and melt the cheese inside. The goat cheese became the centerpiece for the salad that was surrounded by the beets and chicory which he garnished with fresh chives and crushed walnuts. 

I didn't change a whole lot in my version because I was really intrigued by Chef Blanc's concept. Instead of goat cheese I used brie and instead of fresh chives I used the beetgreens to create a leafier version. Raymond Blanc used red wine vinegar in his dressing and I cut my red wine vinegar with a little balsamic (which goes stupendously well with beets). I had every intention of adding crushed walnuts to mine as well but I was so eager to dig in to this that I forgot to add them until it was too late. I was halfway through the salad before realizing it and at that point there was no going back and taking new pictures. I added some walnuts after the fact and it was totally the missing element so I recommend that you add them if you plan on recreating this yourself.


Ingredients

1 200-gram wheel of brie
3 beetroots, trimmed with beetgreens washed and chopped, aside
2 chicory or Belgian endives, quartered lengthwise
3 tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup coarse breadcrumbs
2 tbsp of olive oil (for breadcrumbs)
2 tbsp of olive oil (for beets)
1 tbsp olive oil (for dressing)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 handful of crushed walnuts
Salt & Pepper


Preheat your oven to 325 F/165 C. Take your beets and wash the roots and the greens.




 
Cut the beetroots from the stalks and trim any straggly roots. Pull the green leaves off the stalk with your hands and set aside.




      
Use metal foil to create a papillote or parcel that will tightly envelope the beets. Place the beets in the foil with a drizzle of olive oil then season with salt & pepper. 


 

Tightly seal the papillote folding or crimping any seam shut. By trapping the beets in the foil they will cook in their own steam. During this process the starch will convert to sugar and the flavour will become more concentrated and delicious.




Place the papillote in your preheated oven and allow to roast for 2 hours. Afterward, remove the papillote from the oven. Increase the heat of your oven to 450F/232C and allow to preheat. Carefully open the papillote and allow the steam to escape. Allow the beets to cool until they can be handled. Peel the skin off the beets using a paring knife (though most parts can be peeled by just rubbing with your finger). You may choose to wear gloves for this part as beet juice can stain your hands. Slice the beets into six equal segments each and set aside.


 

Pour any collected liquid from the beets into a large bowl. Add the shallot, olive oil, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. You may choose to keep your dressing as is but if it's too thick you can thin it with a tsp or two of water. Season with salt and pepper. 




Add the beets to the dressing and toss.




Add the chicory and toss. Let the chicory become stained with the beet dressing until they are pink all over.




Set up a breading station by arranging three bowls. make one for the flour, one for the beaten egg and one for the breadcrumbs that have been soaked in about two tbsps of olive oil. 




Dip the brie in the flour and dust until it is lightly coated all over. Tap any excess back into the bowl. The flour will help the beaten egg stick to it. Dip the floured brie into the beaten egg and roll until completely covered, Lightly shake off any excess. The beaten egg will in turn adhere to the breadcrumbs. Roll in the breadcrumbs until the brie is evenly breaded.




Place the brie in the preheated oven (450 F/232 C) and keep an eye on it. Mine took about 10 minutes but it totally depends on your oven. The intense dry heat will start to fry the oil in the breadcrumbs making them golden and crispy while permeating heat into the cheese and making it melt. There will be a little leakage but you still want the the brie to retain its original shape. It should take at least six minutes but as I mentioned, keep an eye on it.




When you remove the brie from the oven, allow it to rest for 2 or 3 minutes before plating. This will give it a chance to cool off enough so that it is still gooey but won't burn your mouth. 

All I did from there was plated the brie pané as the centerpiece and then scattered the roughly chopped beetgreens around it. Then I arranged some of the beets and chicory on top of the greens and drizzled with some of the dressing. This would also be the time to garnish with the chopped walnuts, but I was so enticed by this dish that I forgot. 

All in all, this salad will be enough to feed four people. You could cut the brie into four equal pieces and bread them individually so each serving has their own brie pané, or you could put it in the middle of a large salad and have everyone attack it family style. It's up to you.





This is such a sinfully exquisite salad. The rich, creamy yet crispy brie with the sweet, roasted beets and the peppery bitterness of the chicory tied in with the leafy greens and the slightly tart but sweet dressing and the added crunch of walnuts... it hits so many levels in your mouth and is such a treat. A huge thank you to Raymond Blanc for inspiring this salad on the blog. I doubt he will ever see this but if he does, I hope I've made him proud. 

This is one that I'm going to have to put an extra recommendation that you try at home. This was so comforting and inviting. This would be perfect on a rainy day, which Toronto seems to be getting quite a bit of lately. lol

Stay tuned because coming up is one of my Asian soups that is so versatile and incredibly easy to put together. You don't want to miss it.

See you again soon,




May 06, 2014 - Editor's Note:

Originally I called this dish "roasted beet and chicory salad with brie en croûte". After a bit of proofreading I realized that "brie en croûte" is a mistranslation. "En croûte" would suggest that the brie was wrapped in puff pastry. I have changed it to "Brie pané" to more accurately describe breaded brie. This is what happens when your French is out of practice. Please forgive the oversight. Thanks!

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