All Streets Gourmand likes to be a foil where there is too much of a singular note. Thanksgiving is awesome - our favorite holiday in many ways - but can be a bit much on
blunt flavors. This is not the fault of the holiday or the spirit in which it is meant. But you easily know what we mean when we say that.
This dish relies on fresh citrus and root vegetable to give your palate an awakening spark. It is subtle, but quite lovely - with layered flavors that will have your guests wondering.
The "Gourmand" Citrus, Carrot and Date Salad
Serves 9 to 12
Prep Time 1.5 Hours
This dish is best served cold, I guess like revenge, or at room temperature, I guess like annoyance - although we find chilled has a punchier kick to it. The combination of root vegetables, soaked for a time in citrus, awakens the palate. The sweetness of the dates, combined with the vinegar tart of the root vegetables, then cut with goat cheese and prepared pecans - makes for a discussion, and, as before, a foil to the rest of the sides. It's look will be arresting - deep reds of the vegetables, with the stark whites of the cheese, mixed with the earth tones of dates and pecans - the greens of tarragon mixed through-out.
This requires a lot of preparation of vegetables, which is the bulk of the time.
Prepare this dish a day in advance for optimum results - like the soaking of the vegetables in the dressing.
x2 Bunches of Colored Carrots - well cleaned, peeled and cut into thin rounds
x4 Regular Carrots - as above
x4 Red Beets - well cleaned, peeled well, and cut into thin, bite-sized quarters
x4 Gold Beets - as above
x1 Bunch Radish - well cleaned, ends snipped and cut into thin, bite-sized rounds
x1 Dozen Medjool Dates - cut into bite-sized slices
x1 Cup Water
Dressing: x1 Grapefruit - cleaned, sliced in half and fully juiced - remove pulp and seeds
x1 Large Orange - as above
x2 Limes - as above
x2 TBSP Rice Vinegar
x1 Cup Prepared, Broken Pecans - see preparation below
x1 Bunch Tarragon - leaves pulled, keep sprigs for ornamentx
x1 Standard Package Goat Cheese - pulled bits for ornament
Preparation: Prepare all vegetables as described above. Root vegetables will all be sliced into thin bite-sized pieces.
Prepare a pan large enough for all the vegetables - put in water and half of vinegar. Bring to simmer. Put in all vegetables and reduce temperature. Water should be warm but not simmering. This will soften the beets and carrots. Stir vegetables every 5 minutes to mix thoroughly. Do this for 30 minutes and allow to rest - turning off heat. Beets will bleed out red and all vegetables will color.
To make dressing, fully juice the grapefruit, orange and limes. Remove seeds and pulp. Set one half of this aside.
Prepare the pecans by melting butter in a skillet and turning heat to high. Fold the nuts as they warm. Salt and pepper them twice in the process. Do this for about 15 minutes - do NOT allow them to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Strain vegetables of the water and the beet broth - drink this when you can, it's quite good for you. Mix in one half of the dressing and fold into vegetables, covering completely if possible. Refridgerate this for a night for optimum results.
When preparing to serve - drain out the dressing from the vegetables. Serve vegetables on platter, mixing in tarragon leaves, dates, and pecans. Mix for visual effect. Take the small bits of goat cheese and arrange them nicely along the dish. Finish with a sprig of tarragon.
Happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to like and subscribe all things All Streets Gourmand!