BARBIETOLE ARROSTITE CON SALSA BALSAMELLA

(Roast Beets in Béchamel Sauce)

INGREDIENTS

3 Med. Beets - yellow
3 Med. Beets - red
3 Med. Beets - chioggia
2 Cups Bechamel sauce - see below

PREPARATION OF THE BEETS

Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees until al dente. This should be about 40 minutes. Allow to cool until they can be handled. Peel.  Let cool completely and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Place in a bowl and add a little olive oil. Mix gently. This will keep them from sticking together. Turn the oven up to 375. This will preheat it for the next step.

PREPARING THE BÉCHAMEL

This is my own version of a recipe for microwave béchamel given by Barbara Kafka in her book, "Microwave Gourmet Cooking".   Add Two tablespoons of butter or margarine to an oven proof glass casserole bowl.   Cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for one minutes.  Add two tablespoons of flour, mix with the butter or margerine and heat, covered, on high in the microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of 2% milk. Stir to break up lumps and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Check after two minutes to see if it needs to be stirred.  If so, stir and heat for another 2 minutes.

Add another half cup of milk and heat on high for 4 minutes. After this time the béchamel should be about as thick as heavy cream.  If too thick, adjust with chicken broth, and cook until creamy, usually about 2-3 minutes.   If too thin cook for another 4 minutes. If still too thin, add two tablespoons of flour dissolved in 1/3 cup of chicken stock. Cook another 4 minutes until creamy. After making this sauce a few times, it becomes easier to judge exactly how much liquid is necessary to obtain the consistency desired.

At this point the béchamel can be seasoned in a number of ways. Add salt to taste, and 1/8 Tsp. of black pepper. Alternatively, add 1/4 Tsp. of ground nutmeg and 1/8 Tsp. of white pepper. (Careful, the white pepper has a strong flavor) Cover the béchamel and set aside. If it thickens too much, add milk, water or chicken stock until it is the consistency of a heavy cream.

PREPARING THE BEETS

Lay the sliced beets in a baking dish large enough to hold them in three rows. the first lengthwise row should be layered red beets. Next to it place a row of yellow beets, and next to that place a row of Chioggia beets. Cover the beets with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top of the béchamel. Bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree preheated oven. During the last five minutes turn the oven to 450. This will result in a crisp brown crust.

Serve hot. This dish is a good vegetable dish to accompany a simple pork or veal roast.


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Last updated on: 06/03/99 12:51:05 AM