Beets, beets, and more beets. It seems like every single person at the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market has beets to sell. Beets are an ingredient that it’s taken me awhile to grow accustomed to. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I don’t love them. They’re so earthy and primal. But, since beets abound, I’ve decided to make the best of them and come up with new, less conventional ways of eating them. It’s kind of like when you’re a kid and your parents think of new ways to make you eat your vegetables, except it’s me forcing myself to eat beets. This sorbet is exceptionally good, and the micro greens (read, baby versions of the full grown greens) really make the dish as does the champagne vinegar. And, I finally found somewhere to use my dehydrated blood oranges. If you can’t find sweet pea shoots, don’t worry about it, but definitely get some mint even if it’s not micro. Also, I believe that you can make this in a conventional ice cream maker even though I chose to make it with dry ice. The dry ice ice cream method really is incredible. It takes like 2 minutes, looks cool, and if you screw up, you can start all over again and have another batch ready pronto. I highly recommend it.
- 2 lbs red beets, should yield about 2 cups beet juice
- 1:4 ratio of agave nectar to beet juice. I ended up with about 500g of beat juice, so I used 125g agave.
- 1 teaspoon pectin
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- micro mint and micro sweet pea shoots
- dehydrated blood orange slices
- 1 lb of dry ice
- Roast beets at 400 degrees on a baking pan for 1 hr or until a knife inserted into the beet comes out with little resistance. An hour, really should be about perfect.
- Allow the beets to cool for a few minutes, and then peel them. Most of the skin should come right off using your hands, but if it doesn’t use a peeler or a knife.
- Cut the beets into small chunks and place in a blender with about 1/2 cup of water. Blend for about 2 minutes. Keep in mind that if your blender needs more water, you will want to add more agave to the final mixture to keep the 1:4 ratio the same.
- Place the beet puree into a coffee filter or a very fine chinoise, and allow the liquid to separate from the solids. Press against the sides of the filter using a rubber spatula to get as much liquid as possible. Ideally, this should be about 2 cups or a little more. If you’re using a coffee filter in a funnel like I did, be careful that you don’t break the filter with the spatula. Reserve the solids and dehydrate if you want to make a beet cracker.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, pour in 1 cup of the beet juice, 1 teaspoon pectin, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Thoroughly mix in the pectin with a whisk. This should take a few minutes.
- Remove liquid from heat and add back to the rest of the beet puree.
- Measure the strained beet puree on a scale and add 1/4 as much its weight in agave nectar.
- Pour sorbet mixture into stand mixture and give it a quick stir.
- Place dry ice brick inside a folded dish towel and crush with a meat tenderizer or hammer until the dry ice becomes a powder.
- Turn the mixer on medium, and pour in the dry ice.
- Continue mixing until the sorbet is formed. You may need to stop and use a spatula to get the mixture off the sides of the walls of the bowl.
- Remove from mixer and freeze.
To serve, make a quenelle (click on link for instructions). This can also be done with one spoon if the sorbet is very soft. Garnish with micro greens and blood orange slices.