3.30.2012

Carolina Crossroads Roasted Beet Salad: A Recipe for Spring

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale
Carolina Crossroads Restaurant
Sometimes it just pays to ask.  As you read on Wednesday, I attended a special dinner to preview the new Spring Menu for Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar.  The Forbes Four-star-ranked restaurant, under the leadership of Executive Chef Jimmy Reale, is located inside the beautiful, charming, and historic Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

My husband and I loved every dish Chef Reale put in front of us.  I am especially fond of beets, so I was particularly excited to see a roasted beet salad on the menu.  If I see beets on a fine dining menu, you can pretty much bet that I will order them because I rarely do anything with the root vegetable at home.  Will is not really a fan of beets, or at least that is what he thought until he tasted Chef Reale’s Roasted Beet Salad, which is currently being offered as an appetizer on the spring menu.  

Several times a week, you will find Executive Chef Jimmy Reale at the local farmer’s market. His menus reflect his desire to provide light, fresh, flavorful dishes in which he can access and use local products. He also aspires to infuse Southern dishes with his Lebanese-Italian heritage, describing them as “distinctly Southern with Mediterranean undertones.”


I think that is apparent with his roasted beet salad recipe, which he is so kindly sharing with us today.


 Roasted Baby Beets, Blood Orange, Grilled Lavash, Local Micros,
Hillsborough Goat Cheese, Broken Vinaigrette

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale
From the Kitchen of Carolina Crossroads
Serves 4
Ingredients
4ea        Baby Red Beets
4ea        Baby Yellow Beets
15ea      Sprigs of fresh Thyme
1ea        Blood Oranges, Peeled and cut into segments
1ea        5x5 piece of Lavash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 ½ c     Micro Greens
2 oz       Goat Cheese

Broken Vinaigrette
1c             Balsamic Vinegar
1/4c       Sugar
1 c         Fresh Basil
¾ c        Neutral Oil

Method
1.     Place thyme in two separate small pans and place the red beets in one and yellow beets in the other. Drizzle the beets with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and salt& pepper. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Once they have cooled off, remove the skins and cut into pieces being sure to keep red and yellow beets separate.
2.     Cut the lavash into four pieces, soak in extra virgin olive oil then remove as much oil as possible. Place lavash on grill and cook until crisp on both sides.
3.     Place balsamic vinegar and sugar in small pan and bring to a slow simmer.  Reduce vinegar by half, remove from heat and cool completely
4.     Place basil and oil in a blender and puree for 2 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer.
5.     Pour the oil and balsamic syrup together in the same bowl

Assembly
1.     In a large bowl mix the micro greens, beets and blood oranges with two tablespoons of broken vinaigrette and salt & pepper to taste. Be sure to stir the broken vinaigrette with a spoon before putting on the salad.
2.     Divide the salad and lavash between the four plates. Top the salads with the goat cheese and drizzle the broken vinaigrette around the plate.

I love the blue and white decor in the Carolina Crossroads dining room.

Carolina Crossroads Restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere.  If you ever travel to the Tar Heel State, I hope you put Chef Reale and the inn on your itinerary.  In the meantime, you can enjoy a little taste of The Carolina Inn at home.


Related Posts:
Pack Your Bags: We're Heading to the Carolina Inn

Flip Flops and Pearls and I invite you to link your recipes. 




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