Next week Ottawa vegan restaurant ZenKitchen will begin its TV dinner series — featuring meals inspired by popular television shows.
On Monday the series begins with meals inspired by Downton Abbey, the dramatic British series following the upstairs-downstairs lives of an aristocratic family and the servants who work for them.
On Wednesday ZenKitchen executive chef Kyle Mortimer-Proulx will share his recipe for beetroot salad on D is for Dinner, the weekly food segment on CBC Radio's All in A Day with Alan Neal.
Beetroot Salad for the Downton Abbey Dinner
- 2 red beets, 2 inches in diameter.
- 2 golden beets, 2 inches in diameter.
- 1 onion, white.
- 500 ml white vinegar.
- 15 ml sugar.
- 15 ml salt, kosher.
- 30 ml horseradish, prepared.
- 30 ml vinegar.
- 90 ml canola oil.
- 1 shallot, minced.
- Pinch black pepper, ground.
- 200 g baby spinach, washed.
- 2 chiogga beets, 1 inch in diameter, peeled.
- Pinch Maldon sea salt, or other finishing salt.
For the beets
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash all of the beets, and wrap the red and golden beets tightly in a pouch of aluminum foil. Place the pouch on a sheet tray, and cook until a knife can be inserted into the beets without much effort – this should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour, but timing may vary based on the size of beets. If they are not done after 45 minutes, check in 10-minute intervals.
- When beets have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and open up the pouch to allow the steam out. Once they have cooled just enough to handle, use a paper towel to rub the skin off of the beets.
- Slice each beet into 12 wedges of equal size. Set aside in the fridge until needed. This can be done up to 2 days before.
For pickled onions
- Place vinegar, sugar, and salt in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer on the stove, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Cut the ends off of the onion, and cut it in half. Peel the skin from the onion and discard it. Place the onion flat-side down on the cutting board, and cut into strips – as thinly as your knife skills will allow.
- Add the onions to the pickling liquid, ensure they are submerged, and the turn heat off. Allow the onions to cool to room temperature.
For the dressing
- Mince shallot for dressing, and place into a bowl.
- Add horseradish and vinegar, mix to combine.
- Using a whisk, mix the vinegar base constantly as you drizzle in the canola oil in a steady stream.
- Season to taste with pepper.
- Gently toss baby spinach with enough salad dressing to coat it lightly, and carefully pile it on the plate of your choice.
- Take a spoonful of pickled onions and scatter them over the spinach.
- Arrange wedges of different coloured beets all over the spinach.
- Slice the Chiogga beets into thin rounds using a sharp knife, or mandolin. Arrange on top of the salad as a garnish.
- Sprinkle a couple of pieces of finishing salt on each beet before serving.