The great novelist Tom Robbins once wrote that “the beet is the most intense of vegetables.” Striking in colour and rich in nutrients, beets are a versatile ingredient-slash-garnish for many summertime chefs – like Wesley Grendon, whose tuber tartare embodies that intensity. As the new estate chef at Rosewood Winery & Meadery, it’s all about the balance of refinement and relaxation.
About an hour’s drive from Toronto in the Niagara region, Rosewood goes beyond the traditional winery philosophy of local growing. They’ve also got an apiary that produces delectable honey. And don’t forget the lavender fields. At the helm of their newly-opened restaurant, ‘Chef Wes’ is responsible for the execution of an all-Ontario menu to go with the winery’s delightful wines and meads. Local ingredients and Grendon’s from-the-earth cooking methods produce decadent menu items like elk tartare and duck liver parfait.
This beet tartare is late summer at its best: fresh beets paired with radish, endive and locally-made chèvre become a medley of sweet and bright flavours, all in a visually arresting dish. We love it accompanied by Rosewood’s 2020 Afternoon white, a perfect blend of their 66% Sauvignon Blanc and 34% Semillon.
Rosewood Winery's Beet Tartare
- 1 Egg white beaten
- 2 cups Kosher salt
- 3 Beets medium
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Chèvre
- 3 tbsp Capers plus juice
- 1 Lemon zested
- 1 Radish sliced thin
- 1 Belgium endive
- ½ handful Roquette
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Beat egg white and mix well with kosher salt.
- Place beets in a baking pan and cover in moist salt mixture, bake 1 hour.
- Remove salt crust and let cool (you can omit steps 1-4 and use boiled beets).
- Grate beets into a mixing bowl using a box grater.
- Mix beets with, Dijon, capers, lemon zest & caper juice to taste
- Using a ring mold, spoon 1 cup of beets onto a plate.
- Add garnish of radish, chèvre and roquette.
- Wrap endive around the outside of the ring mold.
- Carefully remove ring mold, ensuring the endive stays wrapped around the beet tartare.