Yesterday for class, I was in charge with making the vegetarian plate for dinner service. I was browsing recipes online and I came across Baby Candy Stripe Beet Fettuccine, Beet Syrup. Just by looking at the photo, I just had to make it. Our regular chef instructor is never there on Thursdays but when I showed him the recipe on Tuesday night, to order the ingredients for next class, he said that the recipe was “complicated”. Chef Nic took a look at the recipe yesterday and he also said “complicated”. What is wrong with me? I brushed off what my two chef instructors’ opinions because I always want to challenge myself? I definitely bit off more than what I could chew last night but in the end, I managed to get everything together.
I wasn’t very happy with the presentation of the dish because I didn’t get all my ingredients when I went into the kitchen – annoying – and I was pressed for time making the beet syrup. Therefore, I couldn’t decorate the plate with beet syrup. I would have had enough time because even though service started at 8pm, I didn’t need to actually start cooking until 9:13pm; I just had to be “ready” at 8pm. Did I mention that I had to hand make the egg fettuccine. Yes, I had the attachment to roll out the pasta but I had to roll and then cut and then unravel each noodle…
Today, I had a friend come over because I’m sick but that doesn’t mean that I can’t host, so I made a better looking vegetarian plate with what few ingredients I had at home. I also had some leftover butternut squash soup and it was thick enough to put on a plate.
I love how beets make everything pretty. No artificial colorings used.
For the Beets
- 6 red beets, leaves removed
- 1 garlic head, sliced horizontally
- Thyme sprigs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a rectangular baking pan, place beets into them and season generously with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add in the two garlic halves and a few sprigs of thyme. Wrap up the beets and place them in the hot oven for 45-60 minutes, until soft.
Remove from oven, let the beets cool and peel the skins. Strain the cooking juices and set aside. Take two of the peeled beets and roughly chop them. Place in them into a blender and add the cooking juices. Blend until a purée, pour into a container and set aside.
As for the rest of the beets, cut them into small cubes and set aside.
For the Finish
- Chives, finely chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
Boil a pot of salted water and add a few drops of oil to prevent sticking. Cook pasta 1 minute short of al dente, remove from heat and drain (pasta should still be quite firm) and keep warm.
In a sauté pan on medium-low heat, add a generous amount of both beet purée and chopped beets and toss in the pasta. Cook for 1 minute. Plate to your liking and sprinkle chopped chives over beets and pasta.
*Adapted from Taste with the Eyes.