I got those really nice baby beets from a friend who grows them in his garden and wanted to do something nice with them. What I ended up with was this cool, delicious and fancy salad.
These were roasted with garlic in an aluminum foil packet. Then I carefully peeled them and trimmed them taking care to leave the thin roots intact for presentation. I made a dressing with the now soft roasted garlic.
I made a Sformato with frozen peas. That’s basically a savory Italian custard that can be made with almost any vegetable from onions to butternut squash. Mario Batali has recipes for them in all his books. This one, flavored with mint, is from his Babbo Cookbook. Process is like making any custard. Blanch the peas and mint leaves and shock them in ice water. Puree the veggies and mix with eggs and milk. Pour in custard cups and cook in a water bath until set.
The Yogurt Spheres:
I’ve used an alginate bath before to make “spheres”. Usually, some sort of liquid (beet juice for example) is mixed with Calcium Lactate and frozen in ice trays. The ice cubes are then dropped in a 10% Alginate solution to form the spheres. You end up with a thin skin of the juice filled with liquid. Pretty neat. That’s how the beet spheres here were made. However, with a Calcium rich product, like yogurt, no Calcium Lactate is supposedly needed. Just drop spoonfuls of yogurt into Alginate and you are good to go. That’s exactly what I did and it worked great. I just seasoned the yogurt with salt before making the spheres.
To assemble the dish I incorporated small salad greens dressed with olive oil and fresh croutons. I also grated some lemon zest on the yogurt and drizzled the beet-roasted garlic dressing on the beets.