Sample Recipe from A New Turn in the South: Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad
The beautiful beets and carrots harvested at the same time in the early fall by our local farm supplier inspired this recipe.
Feta is a brined sheep’s-milk or cow’s-milk cheese made in many places, but the European Union recently mandated that only feta from Greece can be called “feta” so we’ll start to see a bunch of “Greek-Style Salad Cheeses” in grocery stores. My favorite feta, Valbreso, is from France, is 100 percent sheep’s milk, and is for sale at Kroger in Athens, Georgia. If I can get it in Athens, chances are good your neighborhood grocer has it. If you live in a very isolated place, then order your feta from Amazon.com.
Vinaigrettes need balance and should be made with the other salad components in mind. If you are dressing salty feta, scale back on the salt content in the dressing.
1 teaspoon salt 1 pound baby carrots, peeled, 1/2 inch of green top left on 1 pound baby beets, cleaned but not peeled 1/4 pound feta 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 1 cup pulled fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, then add the carrots. Blanch for 1 minute and remove to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, remove and set aside.
Place the beets in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and simmer until the beets are tender. Strain the beets and peel them using paper towels to rub off the skin. This is easier when they are still warm.
Crumble the feta and set aside.
Toss the carrots with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and place them on half of a rimmed baking sheet. Toss the beets with the remaining olive oil and place on the other half of the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the beets and carrots from the oven and place in separate bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and 1/2 cup of the parsley to the beets and toss. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette, the remaining parsley, and the feta to the carrots and toss. Divide the carrots evenly among 6 plates. Then divide the beets evenly among the plates and gently mix with the carrots. Drizzle with a touch more of the vinaigrette.
Makes 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and then pulverized
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil, then the lemon juice and the sherry vinegar. Add the cumin and the mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The vinaigrette will last for 10 days in the fridge.
“Hugh is one of the small handful of truly great chefs working in the South today who understands the importance of building and maintaining a bridge between tradition and innovation. His dishes may seem a bit like R.E.M. songs in that they are thoughtful, geo-specific, crafty, smart, and all about pure pleasure. But the dishes, both new and old, all whistle Dixie in a way that honors the true magnificence of the last real regional cooking in the United States. A random selection of any twelve recipes in this book, from cocktails to mains, sides, and all the way to desserts, could easily make up a greatest hits of a fine chef. This book is simply a perfect way to understand and to make delicious and simple American food, refracted through the spectacular prism of the modern South. Hugh is a modern master and one of my heroes.”
“It’s rare to find a chef's cuisine and his place—Athens, GA—so in step with each other: unmistakably Southern and yet unlike anywhere else in the South. That A New Turn in the South
brings Hugh’s extraordinary kitchen sorcery into our home kitchen is nothing short of a miracle!”
—MATT AND TED LEE
“Hugh shares his love for his adopted homeland in heartfelt stories and odes to favored ingredients. This beautifully designed book lives up to its name with new turns on classics and inventive riffs on regional favorites. It will have readers swooning and cooks inspired for years.”
“I love the way Hugh has articulated his South, which is all about the simple, tasty, friendly treasures in life, of a people and their culture. A beautiful book!”
“Hugh is one of the smartest and best cooks I know. I would happily eat his food every day.”
“A New Turn in the South
will bring Hugh’s smart, delicious cooking and love of seasonal ingredients to any kitchen.”
“I love Hugh’s book because it shows that Southern food has evolved beyond the expected, into a new Southern food—embracing cultures from around the globe while staying true to the ingredients at the root of Southern cooking.”
“Hugh is an eloquent, intellectual spirit who cares deeply for food and its impact on a community. He combines classic French technique with a Southern sense of place, using unique Southern ingredients in a fresh, innovative style.