A friend just gave us some beets (or beetroot as it is referred to in Ireland and the U.K.) fresh from his garden, so we decided to try them sous vide. What a pleasant surprise — they were excellent.
Their freshness certainly contributed to the result, but I also think that this cooking method is ideal for beets. After two hours in the SousVide Supreme, they were perfectly tender with just a little crispness, and the infusion of the seasonings during their bath really enhanced the beets’ inherent sweetness.
You could serve the beets on their own, but we decided to dress them up in a favorful salad accented with decadent chunks of blue cheese.
Tom has never liked beets but he thought these were delicious!
Note: The recipe for the vinaigrette makes enough for several salads and will last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the water bath to 185°F (85°C).
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer skin from the beets and cut them into quarters.
- Combine the beets, orange juice and zest, thyme, salt, and honey in a large food bag. Arrange the beets in a single layer, top with the butter, and seal the bag using the water displacement method.
- Cook for 2 hours.
- Remove the bag from the water oven and, if not serving the beets immediately, quick-chill the sealed bag in an ice and water bath, consisting of at least 50% ice, to rapidly reduce the temperature. Remove the beets from the bag, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
For the salad
- Finely grate the zest of one of the oranges and set aside. Supreme (remove the skin, pith, membranes, and seeds, then separate into segments) both oranges. Set the segments aside and squeeze the remaining juices into a mixing bowl.
- Add the mustard, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of the orange zest to the orange juice and whisk until just combined. Gradually add the oils in a steady stream, whisking constantly, to emulsify the vinaigrette. Salt to taste.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the lettuce with just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the leaves.
- Arrange a quarter of the dressed lettuce on each of 4 serving plates. Divide the beets and orange segments evenly across the 4 plates. Spoon a little more of the vinaigrette over the beets. Season with black pepper to taste. Top each serving with a quarter of the cheese. Garnish with the remaining orange zest if desired.