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Pickled beetroot, crispy salmon and rice salad

 

Beetroot is an edible taproot: some varieties will reveal pale concentric circles when cut. Wonderfully sweet, beetroots are delicious in many guises: raw, roasted, steamed or, as we have here, pickled.

Look for firm beetroots with perky green foliage still attached. The leaves themselves are lovely cooked as you would spinach, or ripped raw into a salad. Make sure you use them immediately after picking or purchase, but if you delay and the greens go limp simply cut them off, discard and your beetroot will store for a little longer in the fridge. Look for vibrant coloured, firm beets. We used little ones, but the larger ones make a beautiful, large pickled disc. Beets may be available all year round but they will be sweetest now, in their peak season from June to October. 

 

Be careful handling beetroot: the dyes will stain clothes, though I don’t mind the red fingers. The dye doesn’t really linger long on the skin, though it does look quite murderous directly after cutting. You could use gloves, but that feels too fussy for me.

This pickled beetroot would be a tasty addition to any burger: much better than the tinned variety, which holds none of the earthy taste of a fresh beetroot. Or serve with a poached egg for breakfast, or as part of a clean, bright salad. 

 

Pickled beetroot, crispy salmon and rice salad

1 large beetroot
⅓ cup good quality red wine vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups of wild rice, or red rice
Soft, baby herbs, washed and picked
Lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 pieces of wild caught salmon

Wash and carefully peel your beetroot. On the finest setting on a mandolin slicer, slice the beetroot into transparent rounds. If you don’t have a mandolin slice the beetroot in half, placing the flat side on your chopping board to keep it stable, and slice as finely as you can into half-moons.

In a small bowl, place your salt and sugar and a tablespoon of the vinegar. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add more vinegar if doesn’t seem to be dissolving and then when clear, add the rest of the vinegar. Cover your cut beetroots with the mixture and let sit for at least 15 minutes while you proceed onto the next steps. The beetroot pickle should be finished when you are ready to serve.

Rinse the rice well. Cook the rice using your preferred method. We like to use the absorption method, with two cups of water for every cup of rice. Bring to the boil in a saucepan with the lid on, and then turn down very low. Cook until the water has absorbed. When cooked, leave to stand for five minutes with the lid still on, then remove your rice from the pot. When cool, add the fresh green herbs and toss with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the salmon on both sides with a little sea salt. In a very hot, heavy-bottomed cast iron frying pan, put your salmon skin-side down. After about 30 seconds, turn the heat down to low and then fry for at least five minutes. Carefully press down on the top of the fish with your fingertips; you should feel a little bubbling, which means the skin is still wet. When the bubbling stops, the skin will be crispy. Keep checking this bubbling, and turn the fish carefully over when it has stopped. You only need to cook the fish for about 30 seconds on the other side. You don’t want to cook it all the way through. Serve immediately on your dressed rice salad and top with the pickled beetroot.

Serves four

Comments

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By: Anna
On: 07/17/2014 23:55:57
Thanks for this! It is a perfect summer dish. I can't wait to try it on my husband. He is a believer that beets are a bland, and overly colorful thing that clearly originated in a can and is served in can shaped slices in lower quality diners and are best for piling on the side of the plate so you can say you are exercising "portion control" by not devouring everything. What a surprise he will get when he tastes this lovely fresh salad. Also, the tips on picking a good beetroot is appreciated, since I never know. They are being offered in my local market right now, and I have passed by and debated it a few times, but don't know what to look for. Also, didn't have a recipe. Now I have both. It is really hot where I live right now, and I am looking for recipes that don't heat up my kitchen or make us all feel weighed down, so this is perfect - and it has some protein! Going to give it a shot this weekend!
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By: Clara Loves Her Dog
On: 07/18/2014 03:12:55
You got that right Anna! Summer is salad time. Unfortunately, sometimes that means endless bagged lettuce mixes in my house. It is fun to mix it up, and try different types of salad, especially at this time of year. Sometimes I think my kids think salad means iceberg letter, tomatoes and cheese... NOT good! I need to educate them a bit, I think and this looks like an easy, nice recipe. I hope I can slice the beetroot as beautifully as in the picture though. I don't have the equipment the recipe suggests, so need to do it by hand. It is so thin and perfect and my knife skills are not the best, but I will try it. In the worst case it won't be as pretty but I am sure it will still taste great. That is what makes these recipes so good - that simple, fresh and just a bit uncommon ingredients are always the heart of it. I agree, Anna, the canned beetroot is vile, but fresh beetroot can't be beat.

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By: Matias Gomez
On: 07/18/2014 10:26:57
I wonder if this dish would work well with tuna? I just bought some fresh tuna, and would love to try it with this recipe. I don't see why it wouldn't, since tuna and salmon are both good in salads and I don't see any ingredients in here that would clash. We have a party at our residence this weekend, so I may ask our chef to try this recipe, since it is an outdoor event and this would be a nice dish in the hot weather. I will try it myself first though with tuna, and see how that works. Anyway, I will post here if I do it that way and let you know if it is a mistake or works as well. I think it will be good, and want to use the tuna I have, so I hope I am right. Thanks for the recipe.

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By: John
On: 07/18/2014 11:20:13
The "absorption" method of cooking rice? That is how I have always made rice. I didn't even know there were other methods. Good to know though that my method is the preferred method of the Grace Cuisine experts! This dish looks SO easy. But I am going to use white long grain rice, since I prefer that. I know it isn't as healthy, but I think it will be tasty anyway. One of the things I like so much about the recipes I get here is they often work well with little tweaks and substitutions. That is important to me in recipes, since sometimes there is an ingredient I can't get or don't like and it ruins the recipe. Actually though, I have a hard time finding recipes that are easy to alter, and the ones here are always pretty good in that way.

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By: Adam R. Lester
On: 07/18/2014 11:37:12
I love the clear description about how to cook the fish. That is exactly what I need. I like details like that, details that tell you what to look for, what to observe, how it should sound and look. Recipes that just tell you things like "cook for five minutes then turn" and don't give you the hints of what you should be trying to achieve, how the food should present and behave when being cooked, don't give you any sense of control. Without those descriptions it makes it a lot harder to tell if you got it right, and also sometimes you need to add or subtract a few seconds or finesse the cooking somehow with a bit more heat or a bit less to get it just right, since cooking isn't a perfect science and more like a craft or an art and depends on many variables (type of pan used, gas or electric heat, even elevation, etc). So having some idea of what to look for empowers you to cook it well. Thanks for this clear recipe. This dish looks really tasty!
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By: Jenny
On: 07/18/2014 12:28:20
Hey, GC, you should put out a cookbook! I echo the sentiments of some of the other comments about recipes we get here. But we need a Grace Cuisine cookbook! That would be great! I'm not complaining and I enjoy the blog and our Grace chef we have at work for events is always wonderful with sharing his ideas and recipes, but I would love to have all these in one place, along with some tips, since as I said and as mentioned in other comments, these tend to be unique recipes that anyone can do but also that have a lot of versatility. A Grace Cuisine recipe/cookbook would be a lot of fun to have! (You could even throw in a few jokes too - and, yes, I will be happy to help with that!) Ok, no need to thank me for the brilliant idea - feel free to mention me in the dedication page of the book though! Ha ha ha... ----- GRACE CUISINE: Great idea, Jenny. This is something that might be in the pipeline in the near future. Watch this space!
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By: Steve
On: 09/07/2014 11:48:02
I like beets a lot, and my mom used to put them in my salads. and also when I was a kid my teacher had us dye fabric with patterns and she used beet juice for that. That was a fun thing to do. why don't people use the beet juice to color things. I think this meal looks like it will be very good to eat and I could make it for my family.
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By: Marcus
On: 09/14/2014 15:50:40
One thing I have to echo from another comment - as a chef in training, I very much appreciate recipes that give details of cooking rather than flat instructions. It helps a lot to know what to look for as you cook. Cooking, I find, is indeed an art, and like any art there is much nuance and finesse to it. It isn't a robotic thing, and following directions to the letter is often not enough to get it perfect. If it were, no one would ever need to study or learn. Thanks for giving me a recipe I can make with the needed guidance to do it well. That is what perfecting my art is all about - who knows, maybe one day, when I am done with my training, I can apply to work for Grace Cuisine and be a GC chef! GRACE CUISINE: Hi Marcus, thanks for the comments. Good luck with the recipe and even better luck with your training. I'm sure with your attitude and hard work you'll make a fine chef. Be sure to drop us a line when you've completed your training!
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By: Marcus
On: 09/14/2014 17:40:31
Thanks so much Grace Cuisine!! I will do that. I would love a chance to work with you!

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