Maude March 2017 – Beets

Beets, rich in fiber, vitamin C, iron and potassium and full of powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, are super foods and were the featured ingredient at Maude in the month of March. It is always interesting to see how the chefs at Maude are able to take a single ingredient and utilize it in different ways and this month was no exception.

We are used to having beet salads with goat cheese or even beet soup, also known as borscht. But, beets are very versatile. Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but have very little calories and fat. In addition to the beet, the green, leafy portion is also edible and has a taste and texture similar to spinach. The Maude menu featured beets in a variety of ways – cherry, roasted, dehydrated, shaved, pickled and more.

The menu:

The dinner started with a Beet Mimosa made with Domaine Huet 2012 Chenin Blanc with beet and blood orange syrup to pair with the first two dishes.

Our amuse bouche was Beet Leather with horseradish ice cream and Siberian caviar. Perfect little bites to wake up the palate, the horseradish ice cream had the distinct horseradish flavor but was not overpowering.

The Golden Beets were also little bite size pieces of chewy beet with rhubarb and fennel. To get the beets chewy, they had been partially roasted and partially dehydrated and the tartness of the rhubarb paired nicely with the earthiness of the beets.

We decided to do the wine pairing for the evening and started with Chiyonosono “Sacred Power” Junmai Ginjo, Kumamoto, Japan NV. The sake is delicate with notes of lemon and melon.

To pair with the sake, we were served a plate with three shades of red. The lightest red was Blue Fin Tuna tossed with Meyer lemon juice, the medium red was kelp roasted beets and the dark red was black trumpets sauteed with bonito butter. The idea was to get a little of each on the fork, along with the bonito Chantilly cream for the perfect bite.

Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner, Wachau, Austria 2014

Montana Brook Trout is served with Montana Brook trout roe, nettle cream, orange flowers and thinly shaved beets. The roe are marinated in beets for a dark red color. I loved the balance of earthy, savory and citrus.

We were then served smoked trout mousse with crispy trout skin and pickled beets. The creamy mousse was one of my favorites of the night.

Castello di Ama, Rosato, Tuscany, Italy 2015

One of the most visually beautiful dishes of the night, the Trio of Ravioli were three delicate little ravioli, one filled with spring pea, one filled with goat cheese and one filled with beets and served with goat beurre blanc, mint and tarragon.

Rare Wine Co. Savannah Verdelho Madeira, Portugal NV

Nduja were thin slices of golden beet with marcona almonds, nduja sausage, saffron and pepper wrapped inside.

Christian Venier Le Clos des Carteries, Loire Valley, France 2015

A beet dinner would not be complete without Borscht. The beet soup was served with cabbage, sour cream, bone marrow, brisket, pickled mustard seeds and dill. It was warm, delicate and full of flavor. I was never a fan when my grandma used to make it but I like borscht now!

Ridge Zinfandel “Ponzo”, Russian River Valley, CA 2014 

The dry-aged Duck breast was tender and juicy with crispy skin and served with mustard blossom, honey and lavender. There is both roasted beet as well as beet mustard.

Farmhouse Mimolette is a French cheese that has been aged for two years. It is served with beet beer crackers and beet fudge, made with beets, butter and condensed milk. Between the four of us, we were fighting over that little jar.

The blood orange sorbet with pistachio sponge cake was a plate cleanser and hidden underneath was beet jam.

La Cave de l’Abbe Rous, “Helyos,” Banyuls, France 2005

For the final dessert course, we had a vibrant plate of chocolate ganache and hydrated chocolate mousse served with beet yogurt sauce, rose hips frozen yogurt and rose hips gelee.

The mignardes consisted of beet marshmallows, beet and juniper macaroons and golden beet miso caramels.

And what was the little take away for the night?  Our very own jars of the delicious beet fudge!

Next up……Walnuts in April!