Have you ever heard of Alain Passard ? A french pride, this three times Michelin starred chef, once famous for his skills in rôtisserie (the art of roasting poultry) decided to take out the meat and place vegetables at the center of his plates. Back then, everyone thought he was a madman.
However, he managed to keep all three of his stars, and redefine what fine dining could be in the process. Over ten years later, he is called a genius and owns three farms that supply his parisian restaurant l’Arpège, and countless other gastronomic tables in the country.
One of his most famous tricks is a very simple one : a dish of beetroots roasted in a salt crust. Simple, yes, but effective : it highlights the beetroot’s flavors letting it shine in all its glorious juiciness, tinted by the grounding flavor of earth, and perfectly seasoned.
You could serve this whole, in a brioche, cut in pieces, or very thinly sliced in a carpaccio. It has been my obsession and the only way I have eaten beets this winter. The same method goes for celeriac, turnips, and any other root you might feel like trying this out on.
All you need is 200g flour, 200g coarse salt and 100g water (adjust as you go), here you could also add any herb, spice, or even coffee, or cacao to suit your tastes. Mix everything together, wrap the root in a thick layer of dough and bake for approximately one hour, more if you are using celeriac, at 160°C.