Cincy Chef Turns Up the Beet
Chef Chris Montgomery is trying to tip the scales in beets’ favor at his restaurant, Quarter Bistro in Mariemont, Ohio, just northeast of Cincinnati.
By mixing different cooking methods that showcase the versatility of beets, Chef Chris said he is trying to help people warm up to beets instead of giving them the cold shoulder.
For Quarter Bistro’s signature fresh beet and goat cheese salad, Chef Chris slow roasts a mix of small Chef’s Garden baby beets with olive oil and salt. “Then we wrap them in foil and give them a quick peel,” he said. “That salty flavor helps with the earthiness.”
The chef tosses the peeled beets with lemon oil and blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. The oil and the acidity also help to mellow the earthy flavor, he said. He plates the dressed beets on fresh greens alongside an almond goat cheese croquette. “Goat cheese and beets,” he said, “are like peanut butter and jelly.”
Our fresh beet varieties include candy apple red beets, gold beets the shade of butterscotch candies, and red and white Candy Stripe beets, all sized from baby to ultra to young.
Chef Chris adorns his “18-Hour Short Rib” with a rallado of grated red beet.
Micro Bull’s Blood and micro Beet of the Night, as well as Beet Blush leaves, are further opportunities for chefs to explore the multiple uses for farm-fresh beets at every stage of the plant’s life. “I use the Bull’s Blood on the short rib and on holiday menus, mainly for the color,” he said.
This Just In
A brand-new beet variety is being harvested at The Chef’s Garden. Our elongated Badger Flame beet has stunning orange, red and gold-striped flesh. Its profoundly mild flavor makes it ideal for raw applications. Badger Flame beets are also ideal for shaving into ribbons. Sliced crosswise into rounds, they’re a whirl of concentric circles emanating from a mesmerizing center eye.
Fried, Dried and Pickled Beets
In addition to roasting and grating, Chef Chris said the vinegary tang of pickled beets is a favorite at the restaurant, even among the wary. To further explore beets’ textural possibilities, Chef Chris said he likes to bring out their crispy side by dehydrating and frying them.
“We bake them in a 200-degree oven for about five hours, then finish them in the dehydrator,” he said. “Or, we’ll low fry them at about 300 degrees until they crisp up.” The crisped beets make a nice crunchy garnish, he said.
Close to Home
Quarter Bistro is an 80-seat casual fine dining spot with a bistro vibe. Chef Chris’s seasonal menu also includes daily features to make the most of what’s in season and grown locally. He said he considers The Chef’s Garden an extension of how he defines “local.”
“We cook everything from scratch and try to stay as local and as fresh as we can,” he said. “Being in Cincinnati, with you guys being in Ohio − I love to say that on our menu.”
Close proximity isn’t the only reason Quarter Bistro features Chef’s Garden beets.
“I’ve tried other ones, but they’re inconsistent in size and they aren’t the same quality,” he said. ‘I’ve never had a bad product come from you. The quality is always beautiful.”