Connoisseur Rolando Beramendi, the founder of Manicaretti, an importer of fine Italian foods, offers a recipe using authentic Balsamic vinegar, the precious "black liquid gold."
Roast Beets, Gorgonzola, and Black Walnuts
6 medium beets, cleaned and tops trimmed
½ cup chopped black walnuts, warmed
½ cup crumbly mountain Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup robust extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon true balsamic vinegar
q.b. fine sea salt and crushed
Tellicherry black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool for 8 to 10 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the foil and slip off and discard the skins. Cut each beet into 6 slices and put them in a large bowl.
In a small skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat, stirring often, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts, gorgonzola, olive oil, and vinegar to the bowl with the beets, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
PAIRING: A Barbera d'Asti "Montebruna" from Braida. The cherry and mixed berry flavors will pair beautifully with the earthy beets and spicy Gorgonzola.
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