Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Roasted Beet Sandwich

Earlier this month I was in the Twin Cities to attend a family graduation. While I was there I had the privilege of spending a few days with my good friend Bonnie. As usual we talked about, cooked and ate lots of good food. We visited the St. Paul Farmers' Market (one of my favorite markets) and also made a quick trip to a little mid-week market in the town of Excelsior. (I say "quick" because the weather was unseasonably cool and I hadn't packed appropriately. It was windy and way too chilly for my shorts and light jacket.) At the end of the market there was a food truck (called "The Moral Omnivore...ethical eats from bacon to beets") that we had been encouraged to visit. We ordered a quinoa salad and a couple of their featured sliders and then raced back down the length of the market to enjoy our lunch in the warmth of the car.

Everything we had was very good, but it was the beet slider that stood out. It was good I was tempted to brave the cold to run the length of the market to get another...but I didn't want to be a pig. Filled with thinly sliced roasted beets, egg, and goat gouda...I loved everything about it. Normally when I eat something I like this much, I write down a short description of it so I can recreate it (or use it for inspiration) at a later date in my own kitchen. I don't know why I didn't write anything down about this sandwich...I enjoyed it so much I probably thought I wouldn't be able to forget it.

I'm not sure what it says about my mental note keeping faculties, but I completely forgot about that wonderful little sandwich until today. Yesterday I purchased a couple of bunches of beets at my farmers' market. Typically I roast my market beets while I'm unpacking the rest of my purchases, but work prevented me from doing this yesterday. Instead I roasted them this morning while I was getting ready for church and then left them on the counter to cool while I was gone. When I got home from church I started to pull out everything I needed to make one of my favorite Sunday lunches...a fried egg sandwich. As I was doing this I had to move the beets. It was then that I remembered the beet slider.

Unfortunately I don't remember a lot of the details of the slider other than the thinly sliced, roasted beets. I should call Bonnie so she can fill in the details I'm missing. Honestly, I'm not even sure that the beet slider included egg...I may be confusing it with something else I had over that weekend... In any case, today there was something about the action of making a sandwich and the sight of the roasted beets that tripped my memory. And even if there weren't eggs in the original...eggs are wonderful in combination with beets.

Since I don't keep slider buns on hand, I used a couple of toasted slices of a miniature Boule (I think Focaccia would be a good bread choice too). I slathered both pieces of bread with mayonnaise (I am never skimpy with the mayo on a sandwich) and Dijon mustard. The beets I sliced for my sandwich were simply roasted and peeled. I almost always dress roasted beets with a little bit of vinegar (to draw out their sweetness) but for this sandwich, you don't need to. If you happen to have some roasted, dressed beets on hand though, I'm sure they would be fine.

Since I was planning on frying an egg, I went ahead and used a fried egg, but hard cooked egg—or a thin smear of egg salad—would be good too. To finish I knew I needed something green and a bit of cheese. I didn't have any goat gouda on hand, so I used P'tit Basque—but any medium-soft (so you can get nice, thin slices), salty and mild cheese would work well. I'm fairly certain that The Moral Omnivore's slider also included arugula...I used a leaf of Boston Bibb instead.

This sandwich has lots of possibilities. If I had had it on hand, a little black olive tapenade would have been a nice touch...arugula pesto would be good too. If you don't like egg, some sliced avocado would be excellent. In the fall, maybe some thinly sliced roasted sweet potato.... The main idea is a sandwich filled with sliced, roasted beets and other good things that go with those beets.

My beet and egg sandwich was delicious....just like its inspiration, it was loaded with flavor and very satisfying. It was so good I wanted to make another...but I was out of bread...and just like before, I really didn't want to be a pig.

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