From Root to River

my Salmon and Beet Two Ways bridges land and sea, and in this case appetizer and dessert!
For the main course of my beet-inspired menu, I chose to use the excess amount of beet puree I had left over from my Beet-Red Velvet Cupcakes to create a savory base for the salmon. 

To deepen the flavor of the puree you only need to add a little seasoning and stock and it’s suddenly the perfect side. See how to create the puree from scratch bellow.

This dish is essentially simple and almost all elements can be prepared in advance, warmed, garnished and plated when your ready, so this main course is just as ideal for an intimate dinner date as it is for a larger dinner party.

I serve red wine or rose to keep the pink theme and thirst flowing. Be sure to cook the salmon to a true medium rare so that it can soak up the surrounding flavors, this will also insure that it does not dry out and over cook if you choose the pre sear, re-warm method.
Salmon and Beet Two-Ways
Serves 2 but can be easily doubled

2 7 oz Wild Salmon fillets (skin removed)
1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Beets
2-3 bunches red beets (or red and golden will work) about 15
(2-3 cooked beets will be for the quinoa, the rest will be pureed)
Beet Puree
3 cups beet puree
1/3 cup vegeatable stock
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper
Beet-Black Quinoa
2-3 cooked and peeled beets, brunoise (dice into small cubes)
1 1/2 cup dried Quinoa Blend (red and black quinoa) makes 3 cups cooked
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 finely sliced spring onion
salt and pepper
olive oil
Chive Butter Fava Beens
1 and 1/2 cups fava beans
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch finely chopped chives
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
Method
Beet Puree
1. Wash and scrub beets thoroughly. Wrap in aluminum foil adding a few drops of oil. Place on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and roast in 425 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. 
2. Let cool in closed aluminum foil for 10 minutes. Open package and let cool completely. Rub skin from the beets using paper towel. Quarter beets and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add a scant drop or two of water and puree in food processor till smooth.

3. Take 3 cups of beet puree and place in a medium sauce pot. Warm gently and add 1/3 cup vegetable stock to combine and heat. Cook on low for about 5 minutes, season and add butter, gentling swirling to incorporate the butter, check seasoning and reserve. Can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Beet-Black Quinoa
1. Cook black quinoa according to package instructions. I cook the 1 1/2 cups in 3 cups equal parts vegetable stock and water, simmer for 15 minutes, drain, add a few dashes of olive oil, salt and pepper, and let cool.
2. Add dried cranberries and spring onion. Gently add and combine diced beets. Reserve. Can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 1 day.
Chive Butter Fava Beans
1. Cook fava beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, drain and refresh in a bowl of ice water. Drain and peel thin shell from each bean. Fava beans can be stored covered in the fridge for 1-2 days.
2. While warming or cooking the salmon at point of service, melt the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan on low. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add fava beans to sauce pan and coat with the butter leave to cook on medium for about 5 minutes. Add the chives at the last second and serve immediately.
Salmon
* The salmon for the dish can be done several ways depending on time and type of party, but here’s how I do it when entertaining
1. Remove silver skin and all gray meat including any bloodline from salmon. Pat dry with paper towel and season amply on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a cast iron skillet or a large saute pan on medium high/high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of grapeseed oil and heat till shimmering and starting to see a faint smoke. Sear salmon on the pan, basting top with oil every few seconds. 
3. Continue searing until you see 1/5 inch visibly cooking through from the bottom up (this will be no more than 3 minutes at this heat). Flip the fillets and cook for another 2 minutes, adding a tiny nob of butter to the pan and baste salmon a few times. 
4. Remove salmon from the pan and lightly sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and cracked pepper. Let cool at room temp, cover and chill in freezer for no more than a few hours. 
5. To serve: bring salmon to room temp and warm in a 425 degree F oven for 2 max 3 minutes to heat through. Plate immediately and garnish with a lemon for freshness.
To Plate:
1. Warm beat puree on low. Microwave quinoa on low or just to warm for 30-45 seconds. Warm fava beans in butter on low. Let salmon warm in oven-remove and tent with foil while plating.
2. Add one tablespoon beet puree to plate. Place a ring mold over the puree and fill tightly with two tablespoons quinoa, flattening top. Remove gently and plate fava beens in groupings along the perimeter of the plate. Top the quinoa with the salmon resting ever so gently on top of the quinoa. Top with a lemon wedge and serve. 

Black, White, and Beet-Red All Over
Darcy Jones

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