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Roasted Beets with Walnut Oil and Fresh Ricotta Appetizer

This is an attempt to recreate an appetizer I had recently at SPQR in San Francisco. The diced ruby red beets shine like little gemstones against the creamy white ricotta. Don’t fear making your own ricotta. As Maria Helm Sinkey says, “it’s cool to make, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it.” Creamy Ricotta recipe, page 126 of Food & Wine (November 2008). By the way, SPQR is a really fun restaurant because much of the menu comes on “small plates” so you can share a variety with a friend or two. The wait staff is so knowledgeable and gives such poetic wine descriptions that you swear you can taste the “volcanic ash” or “essence of sunflower.” Ask for their pairing recommendations if you go; they are right on target. I served this appetizer with a Kalinda German reisling from K&L Liquors in San Francisco, but any dry or semi-dry German reisling would pair well.


Ingredients:

  • Bunch of beets, scrubbed, tops and bottoms cut off
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Homemade Creamy Ricotta
  • French baguette, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Honey, for drizzling on top of ricotta

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Put 1/4 inch water in roasting pan; place beets in pan and roast for 45 minutes, covered.
  3. Peel skin off beets, dice and toss with walnut oil and sea salt.
  4. Brush olive oil lightly on baguettes and toast slightly on baking sheet in oven.
  5. Serve beets, ricotta and baguette slices with honey for drizzling.

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