Yet another in our seasonal series on Bites showcasing the rich, ruby-red diversity of beet recipes across our dining landscape. If you encounter exceptional uses of beets in your dining rounds this summer, please submit them for inclusion in The Beet Beat.
It has become apparent that much of Nashville suffers under the onslaught of piles of beets within the bushels of our respective CSA shares. But rather than complain, some competitive Nashvillagers have taken up the challenge of the Beta Vulgaris and are vying for the Mangold medal.
Rachel Lehman, the co-owner and self-proclaimed Chief of Dishwashing at Crema got to talking about the surfeit of beets in her basket with one of her regular customers, Ben Frank. They decided to put their culinary minds to the test in a good old-fashioned Beet Down. (Kudos to all involved for avoiding the obvious dirty joke here. Must! Hit! Return!)
With his opening salvo, Ben went straight for the big guns: pork. And not just any pork...Italian pork. Rachel admitted that bacon was the first thing that came to her mind when considering how to make her beet neat. But Ben's prosciutto-topped beet crostini have set the bar pretty high.
Check out this food porn.
Ben's recipe follows after the jump.
Roasted Beet & Prosciutto Crostini with Shaved Parmesan Reggiano & Fresh Basil
Preheat oven to 375º.
Take 4 small to medium red beets, remove the skin and slice thin (no thicker than 1/8 inch).
Toss sliced beets in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to coat.
Place beets on a cookie sheet, top with fresh ground black pepper and sea salt
Bake for 20 minutes at 375º.
Remove beets and let cool.
Once cooled, wrap 2 slices of beets in 1/4 slice prosciutto and place on a thin wafer (I used 34º Natural Flavoured Crispbread).
Top with freshly shaved Parmesan Reggiano and thinly sliced basil and place on cookie sheet.
Repeat for remaining beets.
Place back in oven and bake for 15 minutes at 375º
Visit Ben's food website at http://iatethat.tumblr.com/
Your move, Rachel.