Chef Allison Martin * The Burning Tree
Fresh garden beets
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Blue Castello Cheese, broken into small pieces
1 or 2 apples, thinly sliced
Fresh dill, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Route 3 * Otter Creek, Maine
Phone: (207) 288-9331
One of our favorite restaurants in Maine is The Burning Tree, quietly nested in Otter Creek just south of bustling Bar Harbor. Owners Allison Martin and Elmer Beal specialize in delicious fresh seafood creatively prepared (like crab au gratin and fresh fillet of flounder dusted with ground sage and almonds in a heavenly cream sauce), and vegetables from their own organic garden. Chef Allison shared this special salad recipe with us.
Beet Salad with Apples and Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Steam or roast beets until fork tender. (With skins on, roast beets at 425 F for about 30 minutes or steam for about 40 minutes.) Set aside until they are cool enough to handle: peel and slice into bite size wedges. Toss the warm beets with the vinaigrette and marinate (if time allows) for 1/2 hour or more.
To serve, toss beets with red onion, walnuts and cheese. Arrange apples on plate (thinly sliced at the last minute to prevent discoloration) in a fan shaped fashion and top with the beet mixture. Season with salt to taste, lots of pepper and more vinaigrette if needed. Sprinkle fresh dill on top if you like. (Or, alternatively serve beets over mixed greens or lettuce. Cheeses such as feta, chevre and other blues work equally as well.)
Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
1 medium clove garlic
1 small peeled shallot
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar or other mild vinegar
1 cup walnut oil
Place all ingredients, except the walnut oil, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the walnut oil to make a smooth emulsion.