This beet tartare is a soft and velvety dish with a little salt, a tiny bit of acid, the right amount of umami and rounded out with some fat. The toasted walnuts add a little contrasting crunch while the vegan sour cream balances out the acidity and adds a subtle creamy note.
Beet Tartare: a playful dish that celebrates this root vegetable
Tartare is technically raw, but this isn’t meat and that’s not a egg yolk, so there are multiple infractions against the term here. But how fun is it to say beet tartare? This dish is so fun to make and looks so interesting plated up.
I got the idea to do this dish during the recent heatwave in Southern California, but there was no way I was going to turn on my oven for an hour and a half to slow roast something. Although the heat finally lifted and the cool air oozed its way back into our home, I still wasn’t crazy about turning the oven on. However, this idea turned out to be worth it.
Salt-bake beets to develop a velvety texture
These beets are salt-baked, which creates a soft and silky texture. I’ve used this technique to make these salt-roasted golden beets and carrot lox. I use baking here instead of roasting because roasting takes place at temps 400 degrees and above. This one is baked at 375. Salt-baking is a technique that involves packing salt around an ingredient, in this case, beets, completely with salt. It’s then baked for an hour and a half which creates a hard shell of salt around the beets. The salt holds moisture in during the baking process which helps cook the beets evenly and creates a firm yet tender texture.
Choose small beets that are uniform in size for this recipe, so they bake completely through.
Making a mango yolk using reverse spherification
This mango yolk is made using a molecular cooking technique called reverse spherification—which sounds difficult but is actually really easy to do. It’s not critical to this dish, but it looks really pretty and it’s also kind of fun to nick the membrane and see it run onto the plate just like an egg yolk. The flavors work together to create fresh and earthy bite.
How to serve this dish
This dish is really lovely to look at, and reverse spherification is so fun! Swoosh some vegan sour cream onto a plate, add the beets, and add a mango yolk or two. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine or beer. Enjoy!
For more beet dishes, check these recipes out!
Salt-Roasted Golden Beets with Teriyaki Sauce and Nori Dust
Roasted Beet Stack with Balsamic Vinegar and Fresh ThymePrint
Beet Tartare with Mango Yolk
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups of beets and 10 mango yolks
- Diet: Vegan
This beet tartare with mango yolk is pretty to look at and fun to make! The yolk here is made by using reverse spherification, a molecular cooking technique. The beets, vegan sour cream and mango yolk all work together to create a delicious dish!
for the beets
- 4–5 small red beets
- 2–3 cups coarse sea salt
- 2 medium shallots, minced
for the marinade
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 tsp coconut vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
for the mango yolks
- 3 cups cold water
- 1 tsp sodium alginate
- 6 oz. pureed mango
- 3 TB plain vegan yogurt (I used Kite Hill brand)
- 1 tsp calcium lactate
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup minced raw kale
- vegan sour cream, for serving
- toasted crostini
to salt roast the beets
- preheat your oven to 375.
- Using a glass pyrex that’s large enough to accommodate the beets, pour a layer of salt onto the bottom of the dish.
- Scrub and rinse the unpeeled beets and place them into the pyrex wet. You’ll want the layer to be thick enough so the beets don’t make contact with the bottom of the pyrex.
- Now pour salt over them until they are mostly covered, then place into the oven for an hour and a half. What happens during this time is the beets are lightly steamed, giving them a super-soft texture.
- Once the roasting is done, allow them to rest until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife if needed, peel the beets and set aside. It’s easiest to do this while the beets are warm.
- Dice the beets as uniform and small as possible. Place into a bowl. Give the minced shallots a little saute in a lightly oiled pan, then add to the beets.
to make the marinade
- Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together. If you have a little more or a little less than 2 cups of beets, just adjust the marinade components accordingly. Pour over the beets, cover, and place into the refrigerator overnight at the least and up to two days for the best flavor and texture.
to make the mango yolks
- Pour three cups of cold water into a large measuring glass cup. Add in the sodium alginate and, using an immersion blender at its highest speed, blend for a full two minutes. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the air bubbles to settle.
- Combine the mango puree with the vegan yogurt and calcium lactate. Stir well by hand and set aside.
- Find a drinking glass with a circular base, no more than 2-3 inches in diameter.
- Pour a very small amount of the sodium alginate mixture into the bottom of the glass.
- Then spoon a little less than one tablespoon into the glass. It has to be dropped carefully and in one shot to achieve a perfect yolk shape.
- Now, tip the glass to a 45-degree angle, then very slowly pour more solution over the top until it’s covered, then slowly raise it back up to a 90-degree level (sort of like pouring a beer carefully into a glass).
- Swirl the yolk around in a circular motion for about 30 seconds to create the yolk shape. Set it down and leave it undisturbed for about two minutes.
- By now, the yolk should be very sturdy. Rinse it off under cold water or place it into a bowl of cold water while you make the rest of the yolks.
to toast the walnuts
- Preheat a small cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in the walnuts, and allow to toast for a few minutes giving them a shake every now and then. They are done when you can smell them, and they’ve developed a little color. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Place one or two tablespoons of vegan sour cream onto a plate, smeared over a toasted crostini or on the side. Spoon the desired amount of beets over the top, topping with the toasted walnuts and minced kale. Finish with a mango yolk.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Appetizer, Dinner
- Method: Salt-Baked, Reverse Spherification
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: beet tartare, salt-baked beets, salt-roasted beets, mango yolk, vegan yolk, reverse spherification
Your vegan lox was astounding so I gotta try this. Yogurt is in the list of ingredients but I don't see it in the directions. Do you just puree it with the mango? This will be my first attempt at spherification,,, as soon as the calcium lactate and sodium alginate get here.
Lyle, glad you liked the lox! I updated the recipe to include the yogurt, which just blends with the mango puree. Thanks for catching that.
Have fun with spherification! It's always fun playing around with ratios and ingredients to see what happens, good luck and hope you enjoy!
Wow – I'm trying to like beetroot (I've been doing this on and off for years, though) and this sounds like a fun way to try it. You are so inventive – cool yolks – very Heston Blumenthal:) Well done
Thank you, Christine! 🙂
Honey Moser says
This is freaking AMAZING. I'm coming to your house for happy hour 🙂
Thanks Abby, please do!
Caitlin M says
you are such an artist. how do you not own your own restaurant?
aw, Caitlin, you are so sweet, thanks for your kind words!! xo