Roasted Heirloom Beets and Burrata with Winter Citrus and Toasted Pumpernickel

Roasted Heirloom Beets and Burrata with Winter Citrus and Toasted Pumpernickel
Chef Benjamin Martinek's Roasted Heirloom Beets and Burrata with Winter Citrus and Toasted Pumpernickel (Evi Abeler)
From the Jun 15, 2019, issue

30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, Calif.
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Wine Spectator Grand Award

"The burrata is the star of the dish. Then there's a nice variety of local citrus: We use blood orange, cara cara, a grapefruit [and] navel orange. We get tarragon from the garden out front of Studio. And we'll often use nasturtium leaves and flowers from the garden as a garnish. We shave the pumpernickel paper-thin and bake it. Not only does it look really cool, but it adds a really nice texture to the dish. But I think that the most intriguing thing about the dish is just the visual appeal to it. Once you have all those different colored beets and the citrus on there, it's just this crazy palette of colors."
—Benjamin Martinek
Chef, Studio at Montage

1 small loaf pumpernickel bread
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup kosher salt
5 fresh bay leaves
1/2 bunch thyme
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bunches mixed baby beets (red, gold and candy cane), washed and trimmed
Olive oil
Two 4-ounce balls burrata
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix of 4 whole citrus fruits (blood orange, cara cara orange, navel orange and ruby grapefruit)
20 chervil leaves
20 tarragon leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the loaf of bread in the freezer to chill for about 1 hour, until semifrozen; this will make it easier to slice.

2. Meanwhile, in a small, oven-safe casserole dish, combine 1/2 cup water, vinegar, salt, bay leaves, thyme and garlic. Add the beets and cover loosely with a sheet of parchment paper, then wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the beets are slightly tender and a skewer pierces them easily. Remove the foil and transfer the beets to a cooling rack.

3. While the beets are roasting, supreme the citrus. Slice the top and bottom ends from each fruit, creating a flat base. Stand the fruit upright and slice away the peel and pith, then slice around each membrane to release the segments. Set the supremed citrus aside.

4. When the beets have cooled to room temperature, use a paper towel to gently rub away the skins. It helps to use latex gloves, as the red beets will stain anything they come into contact with. Cut the beets into halves or quarters, or leave whole, depending on your preference. Set aside.

5. Remove the bread from the freezer; it should be semifrozen. Using a very sharp bread knife, shave 8 slices as thinly as possible. Don't worry if the slices crumble a bit; we are going for a shattered look.

6. On a baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper, lay the pumpernickel slices out flat in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until just crisp. Taste a piece to ensure that it isn't bitter; if it is, the croutons are burned (though they may look no different), and you will need to start again.

7. Cut each ball of burrata in half. On the center of each of 4 chilled salad plates, spoon half a burrata ball. Season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. In a mixing bowl, toss all of the beets with olive oil, salt and lemon juice, and arrange a variety of colors evenly on each plate. Place 2 segments of each type of citrus fruit among the beets. Shatter 2 slices of pumpernickel crouton per plate and lay them on the beets. Garnish with the chervil and tarragon leaves in places where they stand out, adding height and color variation. Serves 4.


LIMERICK LANE Rosé Russian River Valley 2016

"I love this dish with rosé—I think that with rosé in particular, it really sings. It's one of my favorite ways to enjoy this dish. We could certainly overthink it and do some other things, but I think it has a natural affinity. With beets, you have a kind of earthy sweetness, and you have that same sort of implication with rosé—it's not actually sweet. [This salad is] a great entrée into the rest of the venue, where you might find food that's a little more complicated. And the same is true of rosé."
—Troy Smith
Beverage Director & Sommelier, Studio at Montage

Wine Spectator Alternates
HEARST RANCH Rosé Julia Paso Robles 2017 (89, $22)
DECOY Rosé California 2017 (87, $20)

Recipes Cooking Pairings Rosé

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