Beet and Fruit Verrine
This is a popular French preparation which can be either savory or sweet. You’ll come across this in both high end restaurants as well as in people’s home in France. It is a layered concoction in small, clear glasses served either cold or at room temperature. Usually, the glasses are straight-sided, but not necessarily. I used a martini glass from Riedel for my dish. You’ll find that the size and shape of your glass will determines how much of an ingredient you need. Have fun with this. Invite your kids to help you layer your verrine. You can serve this as an appetizer, dessert or as part of a cocktail dinatoire where you offer your guests copious waves of finger foods starting with savory noshes and ending with dessert.
4 medium sized red beets, sliced thinly
4 medium sized golden beets, sliced thinly
4 ripe blue plums, pit removed then sliced thinly
2 ripe peaches, pit removed then sliced thinly
2 Persian cucumbers, cut in small cubes
2 scallions, sliced thinly
½ Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup Greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons Tahini
1 teaspoon preserved lemon, skin and flesh with seeds removed, cut in tiny cubes
1 Tablespoon chives, cut in small rounds for decoration
1. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and bake in a 400⁰F oven for 30-35 minutes.
2. Poke one with a fork to make sure it is fully cooked. If not, cook longer.
3. Allow beets to cool down before removing outer skin.
4. Save some of the red beet juice.
5. Prepare all of your other ingredients putting them in small piles.
6. Put cucumber cubes and sliced scallions in a small bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix and set aside.
7. Make the sauce by putting yoghurt, Tahini and preserved lemon cubes in a bowl and mixing it thoroughly. Add a small amount of the red beet juice to color sauce pale pink. Set aside.
8. Layer your ingredients starting with the cucumbers in the bottom. Alternate the beets with the fruit making as many layers as you wish.
9. Divide the topping evenly among the four dishes and garnish with chives.
Wine recommendation: What else but a rosé? While Provençal rosés have a very refined taste and light color, for the earthiness of the beets, try a darker hued rosé. Look for one made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo or Sangiovese grapes.