The humble beet is elevated to new heights in this vegetarian take on Italian beef carpaccio. Balsamic vinegar delightfully both complements and contrasts the beets, while the greens add crispness, and the Parmigiano Reggiano a salty touch~
Love ’em or hate ’em…
…is how I find most people feel. I’m in the ‘loving column!’ With a Polish mother I grew up eating, and I have to add, liking, beets. One of the many veg we grew in our gardens, each fall my Mom pickled copious amounts to preserve for the long winter. She was very proud of those and quite rightly, as they were very tasty – and to this day, still the best I’ve ever eaten!
What’s so good about vegetable based dishes…
That’s easy! Other than being nutritionally loaded and some of the best food sources we have, they’re inexpensive. The package of ready cooked beets in the above photo sells for a mere $2.99! Still the only place I’ve found them in Toronto just happens to be at my favourite grocery store, Italian btw, and one I love so much I did an entire blog post about… the unparalleled Lady York Foods in North York, Toronto.
A happy culinary collision…
I just adore it when favourite influences collide into something spectacularly new & delicious! Italians are also great fans of beets/barbabietole they’re sold already roasted in most Italian grocery shops. Cryovaced and ready to, use my first sighting was in a grocery store – in Rome! On vacation and cooking dinner for new friends, I found the already cooked whole beets – a true eureka moment in my culinary life. I actually once brought a pack home to Toronto, triple wrapped and stashed in my suitcase…
Good eats with a twist…
Put the love of beets from two nationalities together for a twist on an Italian dish of carpaccio, which is thin slices of raw beef served with a garnish. If the beets are large enough, once sliced and placed on the plate they even look like beef! A fun twist on a classic, it’s perfect for vegetarians and a great surprise at the table. To make it vegan, leave out the slivers of Parmigiano Reggiano, use a vegan cheese.
Roasted Beet Carpaccio
- 2 - 3 small to medium beets pre-cooked & peeled
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Small handfull arugula or other greens
- 1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil or to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or to taste
- Slivers of Parmigiano Reggiano
- Large pinch Kosher salt
- Large pinch freshly ground black pepper
Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, and wearing gloves, cut the beets into uniform very thin slices. Cut off a small piece to taste one, then splash on as much of the balsamic vinegar as you like, and season with a bit of salt & pepper. Mix gently and set aside.
In a small bowl add the greens, and sprinkle with enough oil & lemon juice to taste, set aside.
Using gloves, arrange the beet slices in overlapping circles on a round platter or plate. Be sure to drizzle the balsamic vinegar left behind, over the plated beets.
Mound the greens in the middle of the beets, and shave the Parmigiano Reggiano over top.
*wear gloves unless you don’t mind having beet stained hands afterwards.
** if you can’t find pre-roasted beets, roast them whole individually foil wrapped (and tell your grocery to stock them!)