Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cecina with Beets and Almond Sauce

The wonderful thing about having a CSA box is the exposure you get to vegetables you wouldn't normally buy. Of course, some people might be a little less thrilled about the many pounds of beets received, but I love them. In an effort to keep harmony over the beets, I've looked for many different ways to cook them. This one was a great success for balancing the sweet earthiness of the beets with salty meat and almonds. The two sauces add a bit to the work, but it's worth it.

Cecina is salted, smoked beef that is air-cured for a year. I couldn't find any, so I took the authors' suggestion of substituting bresaola, an Italian meat.

One year ago: Classic Key Lime Pie
Two years ago: Berry Pie Muffins (I still love these)

Cecina with Beets and Almond Sauce (from Moro)

500g beets
200g cecina or bresaola, thinly sliced
Sherry Vinegar Dressing
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
squeeze lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Almond and Sherry Vinegar Sauce
150g whole blanched almonds
8 - 10 tbsp water
25g stale white bread, soaked in water
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 tsp sherry vinegar

1. Wash beets, place in saucepan filled with cold salted water, and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender. Drain and when cool, rub off skin, and cut into 1" cubes.
2. Make dressing: Crush garlic with salt to form smooth paste. Add vinegar and lemon juice and whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Make sauce: In a food processor, grind almonds. Add 3 tbsp water and process to form a paste. Squeeze bread of excess water and add along with garlic to almonds. Grind until smooth. Add rest of water and oil and mix until thick but smooth. Transfer to bowl and season with vinegar and salt to taste.
4. Toss beets with dressing. Lay cecina on top with almond sauce on the side.

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