Monday, February 15, 2010

Meet George...and his delicious beets!

One of my many highlights from working (very) part/time at Williams Sonoma are the great people I meet (and work with)'s just great to work with and meet foodies (I really don't like that word) that have the same interest in food, cook and bake wear, recipes, restaurants, etc. Where else can you share your excitement when a new gadget arrives!

George Georgiades, Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey
Last Friday night, the chef from one of my favorite restaurants came in... Varka in Ramsey's Chef George Georgiades. He was such a gentleman and I made no bones in hiding how much of a fan my husband and I are of Varka (a very expensive, upscale Greek Restaurant) - known for their fresh fish, this is not your typical Greek Restaurant. Our "FAVORITE" dish is an appetizer salad we always share. I've spent countless tries on trying to re-create this masterpiece! George told me it was in "The Bergen Record", the first thing I did was "Google" it, and I can assure you, we would have NEVER figured out how to make the skorthalia... NEVER.

I'm posting the recipe... I've not tried it yet, but it's certainly on my short list
 Greek Beet Salad with Skorthalia
  • 2 pounds fresh red beets (about 8 to 9 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Skorthalia (see note)
  • Remove leaves from beets, leaving about an inch of stem. Wash gently and place in a pot of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until firm but cooked, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Drain the beets, cool under running cold water, and remove skin with fingers. Slice in half and then into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  • Combine beets, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, oil and vinegar in a bowl and toss. Add onion and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve dolloped with skorthalia. Salad can be served immediately or marinated for 2 hours in refrigerator. It will keep about 3 days, refrigerated.
Note: For the skorthalia, combine 10 crushed garlic cloves, 10 slices of white bread (crusts remove), 1/4 cup blanched almonds, 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup white wine vinegar. Let soften for 30 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. While processor is running, slowly stream in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 cup club soda.
Thank you George Georgiades, Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey, NJ. This has been the first restaurant in this location that has been successful... and thank you for sharing this recipe!

1 comment:

preppyplayer said...

I love beets and may have to try this!