alex thomopoulos

Vegetarian Carpaccio

Do you ever come home from the grocery store and have no idea what the eff to make?!? It’s one of my biggest challenges in life…my life is so rough, I know. Today, I made my weekly run to my local Trader Joes to stock up on staples that normally I can’t find at farmer’s markets and that I refuse to pay triple the price for at Whole Foods. You know, I wish I was at a point in my career that I could check out at Whole Foods and not bat an eyelash. Instead, every time I leave Whole Foods I am usually sweating profusely and hating myself for spending over $200 on enough food that will last me all of 3 days. I just wish one day I can afford that “good olive” the Barefoot Contessa keeps referring to. Fuck you Ina, and your tiny husband and your good olive oil. My $6.99 bottle of Spanish Imported Trader Joes Olive Oil works fine….woh things just got weird. Simmer.

Anyways, today I came home totally stumped as to what to make. I wanted something simple, light, and fast to make. Lately I have been obsessed with my little handheld mandolin. It’s a great tool to quickly shave vegetables and adds amazing texture to a dish. I decided to shave some pre-roasted beets I bought, top them with goat cheese, thinly sliced jalepenos, crispy arugula, crunchy sea salt and squeeze lemon and olive oil on top. HOLY MOLY. I want to eat this every day. As a chef and caterer I am always trying to come up with simple, elegant starters for dinner parties and this recipe is definitely going on the list for my next dinner party. Feel free to experiment too. Try  drizzle of reduced balsamic, a sprinkling of toasted nuts etc.

beet carpaccio2

Roasted Beet Carpaccio

(serves 2)
  • 2 large beets, ends cut off and washed
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 jalepeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • sea salt and black pepper
  1. Roast beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Scrub beets very well, and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Place wrapped beets onto a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes. Pull out of oven unwrap and let cool. Peel off skin, using your hand or a towel.
  3. Thinly slice beets and arrange on a plate. Grate some of the zest from the lemon on top. Slice the lemon in half.
  4. Squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle olive oil on top of the beets. Then sprinkle goat cheese, thinly sliced peppers, and top with arugula. Give another good squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil on top. Sprinkle chunky sea salt on top, and enjoy!