Salt-Crusted Beets with Horseradish Sauce

17 03 2010
I found this recipe online and had to try it. I have seen fish cooked before in a salt crust to retain moisture, but I had never thought about roasting vegetables in a salt crust. Being curious, I had to experiment. I tried using a very coarse sea salt instead of kosher salt and I was not completely successful. I could not get the large crystals to stick to the beets. So I do recommend using kosher salt instead. Despite a partial failure, the beets still turned out moist and the horseradish, thyme and orange imparted a lovely flavor. My husband loved them. The first night I served them warm, sliced with the horseradish sauce. The next night I cut them up and used them in the Spaghetti with Greens and Beets recipe. Both ways worked great. These beets would also be lovely in a green salad.

Horseradish Creme Fraiche:

1 cup Creme fraiche

1 tbsp prepared horseradish

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

2 tsp Sherry wine vinegar

Beets:

2 cups coarse kosher salt

5 tbsp prepared horseradish

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp finely grated orange peel

3 large unpeeled beets, trimmed and scrubbed

For the horseradish creme fraiche, whisk creme fraiche, horseradish, chives and Sherry wine vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the beets, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix coarse salt, horseradish, thyme, and orange peel in a medium bowl. Place three 3-tbsp mounds of salt mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Top each salt mound with 1 beet, then cove the beets with the remaining salt mixture. Press firmly with hands and form a crust around each beet, covering completely.

Roast beets 1 3/4 hours. Remove from oven; crack salt crusts and remove beets. Peel beets and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange beets on a platter or individual plates and serve with horseradish creme fraiche.


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