I have a soft spot for chefs who use beets. Surprisingly complex aromatically with an interesting mixture of red fruits and earthiness, beets are an under-rated vegetable.
My most recent visit to Le Chassagne, chef Stefane Léger brought out a smoked haddock and beetroot appetizer with not one, but two different preparations of beets.
What a dish!
Raw beets, coarsely grated underneath, and beet chips on top. Textural play between crunch of the chips and the soft haddock. The smokiness of haddock brings bitterness that marries well with the earthiness of the beetroot. And the orange sauce acts as exciting energy that brings everything together. I’m not usually a big fan of smoked haddock, but the way it was prepared in this dish was truly extraordinary.
Of the wines on the table, it was a 2001 Pousse d’Or Corton Clos du Roi that married the most harmoniously with this dish. The characteristic acidity of the 2001 vintage, expressed through orange rind and orange peaches kept the wine extraordinarily fresh.