Duck Fat–Roasted Beets
The Bachelor Farmer - Minneapolis
Thinly sliced beets are brushed with duck fat before a quick spin in the oven. Topped with shaved Parmesan, toasted almonds, and buttery chunks of fresh breadcrumbs, this vibrant recipe by JBF Award winner Paul Berglund is a feast for the eyes and the palate.
- 1/4 cup rendered duck fat
- 4 medium sized beets, different colors, if possible
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1 shallot
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/2 cup pain de mie bread, diced into 1/2-inch dice (or Pullman loaf)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
- Chunk of Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a small saucepot, melt the duck fat over low heat. Set aside.
Peel the beets. Thinly slice about 1/8-inch thick or slightly thinner. This is easiest to do with a mandolin. If you don’t have one, cut the beets in half lengthwise so that you can work safely with the beet resting flatly on the cutting board. Place the sliced beets on a cookie tray with parchment or wax paper.
Brush the beets lightly with the melted duck fat, just enough to coat them. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Flip the beets over, brush the other side with the duck fat, and sprinkle with another 1 teaspoon salt. Roast the beets in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Taste a beet. When done, it will still have a bit of a bite (it won’t be totally soft), just a bit of a roasted taste, and a few of the beets will have slightly crispy edges. Remove the beets from the oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, place the almonds on a baking sheet and roast at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until the almonds are lightly browned on the inside. Place the almonds in a bowl and toss with the grapeseed oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer the almonds back to the baking sheet and allow them to cool. Roughly chop and then set aside.
Peel and finely dice the shallot. Place the shallots in a small bowl and add the apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of sugar. Let this rest for 15 minutes. This helps to mellow out the raw heat of the shallot.
Toss the pain de mie croutons with the melted butter and toast in a 350°F oven until they turn a deep golden color. (Note: This can all be done up to several hours ahead of serving.)
To assemble, place the roasted beets on 4 plates in a mosaic pattern. Sprinkle the shallots, draining them a bit, over the beets. Scatter the almonds, croutons, and chopped parsley over the beets. Lastly, using a wide cheese shaver, shave shards of Parmesan cheese over the plate to your liking and enjoy. Freshly cracked black pepper would be wonderful, if you’re in the mood.