By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
My first foray into salt-crusted baking involved a just caught fish, a cold night and a cozy boat anchorage in Nova Scotia nine years ago…
This was my second.
It was worth the wait.
Smoked Salt-Crusted Beets
What you need:
2 cups kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, fine grind (I used Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit peel
3 egg whites, lightly whisked with a fork
3 large unpeeled beets, cleaned and trimmed
Preheat oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the kosher salt, smoked sea salt, ground coriander, grapefruit peel and egg whites until well combined (mixture will be a sand castle making paste consistency). Place three mounds of the mixture (about 2 to 4 tablespoons) on the parchment paper lined baking sheet (staggering to allow as much space as possible between each mound). Place one beet on top of each mound. Firmly pack the remaining salt mixture around each beet to completely cover. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Crack salt crusts open and remove beets. Peel beets and serve. Note: For an artistic starter, place each whole peeled beet back into their salt shell as a “bowl” or slice and serve in the salt shell.