The Sharper Chef, Vancouver: David Hawksworth, Hawksworth Restaurant

Vancouver’s “Sharper Chef” series is written by food and drink aficionados, and features prominent chefs, brewers, vintners and distillers who share some of their finest, oftentimes secret, recipes. In this installment, from the menu at his namesake restaurant, celebrated Vancouver chef David Hawksworth offers an apple beet salad perfect on its own as a light lunch or alongside fish for dinner. With this recipe, Hawksworth keeps it simple and allows the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Apple beet salad
Apple segments (thinly sliced)
Pickled beets, red and yellow
Fresh dill
Candied walnuts
Caramelized honey vinaigrette (homemade — see below)

Caramelized Honey Vinaigrette
500 ml honey
Zest 1 orange
8 sprigs thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp coriander seed
500 ml champagne vinegar
500 ml olive oil
750 ml grape seed oil

Caramelize honey over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and steep all ingredients, except for oil, overnight. Next day, strain, incorporate with oil and adjust seasoning.

To Assemble
Toss arugula, chopped apple and pickled beets in vinaigrette. Place in bowl and garnish with nuts, pieces of chèvre and fresh dill. “Always soak the arugula in ice water and dry before using, because the ice bath will make the leaves very crisp,” Hawksworth advises, adding that Honeycrisp apples are best for this dish.

The chef also recommends pairing the salad with the 2010 Bruno Giacosa, Roero Arneis from Piedmonte Italy. “A white wine with fresh and fragrant flavour, it carries a fine and elegantly fruity bouquet reminiscent of peach, apricot, citrus, fruit and acacia flowers,” he says. “It’s both intense and soft at the same time.” Just like this salad.

Image courtesy of Hawksworth Restaurant. 

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