I have no idea what I would do without vinegar and salt. Fortunately, over the years, I have found access to some of the best salt and vinegar products in the world. A great example of the importance of these two ingredients is my lunch today, featuring local beets, as well as mussels from our region.
I’ve learned that beets are very healthy for me, and they are an under-appreciated vegetable, so the local produce is very good, as well as reasonably-priced. However, most beets have all the flavor excitement of white rice, so I have also learned how to enhance those flavors. Vinegars and salt play a significant role in those enhancements.
One example of ingredients you can use to make beets so flavorful is shown in the dinner menu with friends last weekend, where the first course featured a make-your-own beet appetizer, using some of the 11 ingredients supplied from which to choose.
This process was so successful that I decided to dedicate today’s lunch to a new beet dish, with special attention to the wonders of vinegar and salt.
Each slice of cooked beet was topped with whipped feta and almond milk ricotta cheese, followed by pickled slices of shallot, beet greens sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and topped with wasabi-infused flying fish roe, accompanied by Frankie’s crunchy pickled cauliflower florets (which we purchased at a gourmet grocery store in Portland, Maine, last weekend: Onggi.)
I also used Kala Namak Salt from India (which pairs beautifully with beets, if you don’t mind the sulfuric smell from the volcanic salt), and some sea salt from Ibiza, to bring out all the flavors.
Two different vinegars (both Spanish) were involved with the beet dish, and a third with the Mussels Vinaigrette, leftover from yesterday’s lunch.