Here is another fancy little number from our Community Green dinner. This one looks simply ravishing on the plate, and, in my humble little opinion, blows the raw beef version right out of the water. If you want to go nuts with it, a little shaved fennel would not be amiss here in place of or in addition to the microgreens. Most of your time will be spent slicing the beets, so if you're making this for a crowd, set aside a little extra time. For a family supper, you can skip this step and just use your knife, but I recommend trying it my way if you have the time. Sometimes beauty is worth the price.
4 large beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup microgreens
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely minced
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finest-quality extra virgin olive oil
Scrub beets but do not peel. Remove the very top and bottom of each beet. Place in a double thickness of aluminum foil, top with olive oil, and wrap tightly. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork but not soft. Set aside to cool.
While beets are roasting, chop walnuts and roast for 10 minutes in the oven with the beets. Set aside to cool.
Prepare lemon vinaigrette: Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, shallot, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Whisk in olive oil, drop by drop, using all. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. You want a very bright, acidic flavor to counter the sweetness of the beets and the toasty flavor of the almonds. Set aside.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel carefully, then slice very thinly using a mandoline slicer. Aim for slices thin enough to see through. Unless you want pink fingers for a few days, you may wish to wear gloves.
To plate: Toss microgreens with a teaspoon of dressing. Lay beets down center of plate, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Top with microgreens, and drizzle each plate with a little dressing.