Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s Ode to lovers. Or Hallmark’s depending on your perspective. Either way, it’s ingrained in our psyches, from a young age, to buy sentimental cards and make reservations for two at a special occasion kind of restaurant. Unless, you’re me. I’d rather make a special meal at home, for my hubby, cause nothing says I love you more than slaving over a hot stove.
All kidding aside, I love to cook and actually prefer to create a memorable meal that we share at our kitchen table rather than go out on the busiest restaurant night of the year. While I’m not sure what I’ll be making as a main course and dessert, this Tuesday night, the appetizer is in the books. Heart Beet Terrine, using hubby’s favorite vegetable, beets, that’s designed for two to share on one plate. Now, that’s a Hallmark moment.
This version of a beet terrine is sweet and savory, as all good relationships should be. Set inside of a heart ring mold, it makes for a divine Valentine presentation on a plate topped with orange zest and basil. Shared with your special someone and a glass of bubbly, I can’t think of a more perfect way to say I love you.
- Beets are messy and stain countertops and linens. Prep and peel the cooked beets in your kitchen sink. Use paper towels to clean up any drips on counters, immediately. Food-grade plastic gloves will keep your hands clean, especially when peeling the beets.
- I prefer to buy smaller beets. They cook faster and are usually sweeter. One bunch (4 beets) of medium small beets makes one terrine of this size. Cook the beets a day ahead and let them chill. You want the terrine to be firm so it’s easier to un-mold. Make sure to give the molded terrine at least an hour to chill as well.
- The dressing is a concoction I whisked up taking into account the sweetness of the beets and not wanting to overpower their flavor. Feel free to adjust to your palate with different herbs and seasonings.
- Mixing the ricotta and feta created a goat cheese like product, which is difficult to find in a vegan version. Plant-based ricotta and feta cheese are readily available at Whole Foods and Lassen’s. I used a homemade ricotta but store-bought is just fine for this recipe.
- I purchased the heart ring mold on Amazon as part of a set of three. See the photos for details. I used the largest of the three molds. You can use any shape ring mold, make it into two smaller ring molds, or even serve the terrine in a ramekin.
Heart Beet Terrine
This recipe is per large heart ring mold as pictured. Easily doubled and tripled for more terrines.
4 small to medium sized roasted beets* (recipe follows for roasting)
Orange Maple Dressing** (recipe follows)
2 T plant based ricotta
2 T plant based feta cheese
Orange zest for plating
Basil leaves for plating
1 heart ring mold
Chop the roasted beets into a small dice.
Stir in 2 T of the dressing and taste. Add more if necessary but make sure not to drown the beets in dressing as it will seep onto the plate in a red mess.
Let the beets marinate on the counter for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together the ricotta and feta cheese until smooth and creamy.
Once the beets are marinated, add the cheese mixture, starting with 2 tablespoons. Add to taste, if you want more.
Place the ring mold on the plate you’ll be serving the terrine on. Fill the mold with the beet mixture, getting into all corners and crevices. Gently press down the filling to compact it, being careful not to squeeze beet juices out of the bottom. Top with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour to make sure the mold is set. I put it in the freezer for the last 10 minutes. It came out like a dream.
Top with orange zest and basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Refrigerate leftovers. Don’t freeze.
At least 4 small to medium beets but it wouldn’t hurt to cook a few more.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 375 Convection or 400 regular.
Trim the beets of their stems and long roots. Compost stems and leaves or throw in a vegetable broth.
Scrub the beets well but leave the skins on. Dry thoroughly.
Depending on size wrap the beets in foil packets of 2 or 3 rubbed with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place the sealed packets, seam side up, on a sheet pan.
Roast on the center rack for 40 -60 minutes depending on the size of the beets. They should be fork tender but not mushy.
Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and discard. Again, do this in the sink wearing plastic gloves.
Chill the beets whole, overnight.
**Orange Maple Dressing
This makes more than you’ll probably use for one terrine. Easily doubled and tripled for more terrines.
Zest of one orange
2-3 T fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 T fig balsamic vinegar or other fruity and sweet red balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 tsp dark amber maple syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 large basil leaves, finely chopped
1 T EVOO, preferably a mild, buttery olive oil as opposed to a grassy, peppery one
Whisk all of the ingredients together except the oil. Add the oil and whisk again. Taste for your palate and adjust any proportions of any of the ingredients. Make sure to whisk up again before adding to the beets as the oil can separate to the top.