Warm Whole Beet & Chard Salad with Almonds and Parmesan Cheese

A recipe by head chef of Il Buco in Copenhagen, Aaron Kaczmark

A plate with a whole beet and chard salad, topped with almonds and parmesan cheese

Many of our Copenhagen-based readers might know the cosy, Italian restaurant in the heart of Islands Brygge, called Il Buco - translated that means “the cave”. Setting foot into the old, rustic warehouse, you immediately start to realize why they named it that way. The low ceilings of the old warehouse, where once they manufactured iron, creates an intimate atmosphere that invites to stay.

People come here to enjoy breakfast and bread from their inhouse bakery (the croissants are made of 30% (!!) butter), a lunchtime pasta or sandwich, tagliere (the Italian pendant to charcuterie) and drinks. In the evening, when the candles are lit and the homemade pastas roll out, it makes you regret that you didn’t bring your date here to discuss which one of their selected natural wines is the best.

Italian cuisine with Danish ingredients?

GRIM teamed up with Aaron, who is Australian and came to Il Buco as a head chef earlier this year. He has previously worked at Fiskebaren, the famous fish restaurant in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District. Aaron loves GRIM, because he believes in a restaurant’s responsibility to create as little waste as possible as well as to source locally. So really, Italian food can easily be made with as many local staples as possible (plus, of course, some Italian specialities) if you know where to find the right, high quality ingredients. Therefore, GRIM & Il Buco just makes sense, as we both have sustainability written into our DNA.

For this blogpost, we gave Aaron a couple of whole beets — just like the ones in box of week 27 — and off he went, swinging his wooden spoon to make some magic happen. And the best thing: This recipe is home cooking style, no difficult, haute cuisine. Try it out yourself!

Ingredients

  • A couple of whole beets (leaves, stem & root)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Parmesan
  • Smoked almonds
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamico
  • Salt & Pepper

How to cook it

  1. Prep the whole beets according to the instructions.
  2. Cut the root part into similar big pieces.
  3. In a pan, bring water and a dash of olive oil to a boil. Add roots and cook until tender. If the pieces are small, it will only take a couple of minutes.
  4. After boiling, heat up some olive oil in the same pan and shortly fry roots and stems.
  5. Place in a bowl, add almonds & squeeze lemon juice on top. Mix well and plate.
  6. In another bowl, roughly tear leaves apart. Add olive oil (5 parts) and vinegar (1 part), salt & pepper. Garnish on plate.
  7. As a last step, grind that parmesan on top and start eating!

By the way, if your beets taste bitter, the secret weapon here is cheese, as fat kills the bitterness. This is the excuse you have waited for to add cheese on top of ANY dish ;) Have a good one, matey!