Preparing A Dinner for Purple Lips: The Beets

October 2011

The Back Story (As you may recall)

Me:  “I’m a sucker for romantic stories.”
Nicole:  “Please, there was no story with my ex.  When I met him my lips were stained purple with Malbec.”

Somehow that became one of my favorite stories anyway.  Purple lips.  Sometimes they are sought.  More often than not, they appear before you know it, and even more often, you find yourself flirting through purple lips you didn’t even know you had.  On other occasions, that lip stain is the goal of the evening.  This was one such occasion.  We were gathering around the table to be ladies with purple lips.  The menu in my head filled the table with purple foods for the occasion.  The song in my head was this.

The Purplish Side Dish:  Beet Endive Salad
(Inspired by my various dining experiences at Brasserie 33)


4-5 beets, tops and roots trimmed
Fresh squeezed juice from one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
6 Belgian endive heads, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 head radicchio
6 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled


Preheat over to 350°F.

Wrap beets in foil.  Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Peel beets. Halve lengthwise, then slice.

Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.

Combine lemon juice and mustard in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add half of dressing to beets and mix to coat.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover beets and chill. Cover remaining dressing and let stand at room temperature.)

Peel off a few layers of radicchio.  Split the endive into individual leaves and position on top of the radicchio leaves.  Mound with beets and additional radicchio, shredded.

Crumble Roquefort over the beets and serve with extra dressing on the side and a healthy dose of wine.

Stay tuned for the final purple lips dinner photos.

PS:  Play With Your Food

I mentioned recently if I wrote a manifesto, it would include a line or two about playing with your food.  As this is my second mention, it seems I should probably start writing my manifesto?  In the meantime, I keep playing with food, in more ways than one.  Look what can happen when beets are the medium…

Coming to a gallery near you?

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