FIRST LIGHT BEET SALAD WITH PEACH, ARUGULA, BASIL, and VALLEY VIEW CHEVRÈ
1 qt Champagne vinegar
1 pt water
1 pt sugar
4 ea peppercorns
1 ea star anise
.25 t coriander seed
4 ea orange peel strips
10 ea red beets, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
Place all ingredients into a pot. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool completely. Cut each wedge into 3 little triangles, or into smaller pieces as desired. Cover with pickle liquid and store.
Roasted Yellow Beets
Place whole, washed, unpeeled yellow beets of equal size inside an aluminum foil pouch. Add 1 half to 1 full cup water into pouch and seal very well. Roast in oven at 350 degrees until cooked through. Do not overcook. Remove from oven when tender and peel immediately. Once peeled, cool completely. Cut into bite sized wedges.
2 cups peaches, pitted and diced
2 cups water
.5 cups champagne vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
1t canola oil
Sweat peaches in canola oil for 1 minute, add water and vinegar. Bring to boil, then simmer for 8 minutes. Blend, season, pass through sieve, cool, store.
2c fresh basil leaves
Blanch basil leaves in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Shock in ice water. Once cool, squeeze out excess water and place into Vitamix and cover with equal parts canola oil and olive oil. Blend until smooth, do not over blend or basil will lose color. Steep unstrained for 30 minutes in refrigerator. Let drip through coffee filter than store under refrigeration.
Assemble: Toss fresh arugula with peach vinaigrette. Add beets, edible flowers (nasturtium is lovely), chevrè, and drizzle basil oil over the top. Enjoy.