The SOS Kitchen Challenge
So when I saw this over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, I knew that it was something I had to do. After all, I can never ignore a challenge, and the Iron-Chef Fan in me loves the idea of having a specific ingredient I need to invent for…although I was kind of concerned, because beets generally aren’t my favorite. I decided to go with golden beets, since their flavor is much milder and less offensive to my palette…in addition to which, they don’t turn my entire kitchen magenta. Always a plus.
Since this is the SWEET or Savory challenge, I went desert this time around, creating a golden beat dessert lasagna that I was pretty happy with, although I must admit I only went there because my favorite golden beet applications doesn’t photograph well. (Running it through the juicer with a green apple, hunk of ginger and a couple carrots.) This will probably be even better in another month or two when all the summer fruit is cheap and at the height of ripeness, but in the meantime, I made do with some pretty good pineapple, mango and strawberries.
2 Golden beats, sliced into think circles using a mandolin
1 can full-fat coconut milk, skimmed off the water.
1 mango in a small dice
3-4 large strawberries diced
1 cup pineapple chunks, diced
4-6 mint leaves, Chopped finely
1 tbs coconut rum
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange beet slices on a glass casserole dish and drizzle Agave nectar on top of each. to coat. Bake for 12 minutes and remove to cool a bit.
2. Create a fruit salad with the diced mango, pineapple and strawberries, mint, and rum. Toss and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld. In the meantime, combine coconut milk with a bit of agave to taste, and wisk together. This isn’t going to reach the texture of whipped cream, but it should thicken a bit, especially if you chill it.
3. Assemble! I used three overlapping circles of beet as my base, a couple spoonfuls of fruits salad and one of coconut cream on top of that, more beets, and a second layer of each.
My original thought was to sprinkle the beets with raw sugar and have them crisp up almost like the top of a creme brulee in the oven, but with the switch to agave that didn’t quite happen. It may have if I’d left them in longer, but I was afraid of having the whole affair turn black and ashen…which was my result the time I attempted to make oven-baked beet chips. Ooops. Maybe it’s good I stuck with the agave and 12 minutes in the oven.