Beets and Bubbles

March 3, 2010

Beets with Apple, Fromage Blanc, and Thyme
I have a strange relationship with beets. I absolutely love to cook them and they are so pretty. When it comes to eating them, however, there is something about their texture that I find a bit puzzling. But who cares what I think? That's why I take every opportunity to cook beets...for others to enjoy. How can such an ugly raw vegetable be so attractive when peeled and sliced?

My most recent opportunity to cook beets came on the eve of a sparkling wine/Champagne gathering among friends. Once again, I went to the farmers market with zero ideas, looking for inspiration. Hmm...beets? Apples? Fromage blanc? Fresh thyme? Done! I knew I wanted to combine all of these ingredients but I did not want to make a salad. My top priority was to create a dish that would allow you to hold your Champagne flute and still snack.

I rubbed the beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then put them atop a bed of fresh thyme. Wrapped in foil, they baked in a 350 degree oven until I could easily slide a knife into the middle. After letting them get cool enough to peel, I sliced the beets thin using my mandoline and then cut them into circles using the large end of a metal pastry bag tip. Assemble: beet, fromage blanc, apple, thyme, beet, toothpick.

What bubbles did I bring? Naturally for a party you want a big bottle. Magnum! What provides more impact and sizzle than to arrive at a party clutching an extremely large bottle of bubbles? And the nice thing about bringing Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine) is that for the price of a puny, normal-sized bottle of true French Champagne, you can bring a magnum. My selection, the Adami Garbèl Prosecco 13, is a crisp and refreshing delight. And since it is not completely dry, it really goes well with the tart apple and fresh cheese. (But by no means is it sweet. Not even close. It's just that the Adami just doesn't have bracing dryness or searing acidity that would make it, well, less charming.) So what does Garbèl mean and what does the 13 signify? Your answer is here.
Adami Prosecco
Jameson Fink is a wine buyer at a bustling grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He moved to Seattle from Chicago (where he dabbled in the restaurant and wine industries) five years ago to pursue a full-time career in wine. He’d rather be drinking Champagne and eating popcorn right now.



Melissa Peterman's picture

Hi James!

Where can I find the beet recipe? Can I find it on Foodista? YUM!

MyLastBite's picture

Really love this idea for serving!

Carrie O.'s picture

Great taste in bubbles J. Magnums are always the best. Will try the beets too! Love 'em.

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