Recipe: Make a golden beet gazpacho to pair with chardonnay

Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertaining

Looking for an aromatic and refreshing summer gazpacho that pairs well with wine? This is your recipe.

Found in the pages of “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” (Harry N. Abrams, $40) by Janet Fletcher, this recipe was developed at Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, one of Napa Valley’s most popular wineries. The winery has a sensory garden, which wine educators use as a “scratch-and-sniff playground” to help guests connect more fully with the aromas and sensations of the wines they offer.

Fletcher is a Napa-based author and recipe developer, and is the writer behind the “Planet Cheese” newsletter. She has written a number of cookbooks highlighting wine, cheese and farm-to-table fare. Her latest book highlights more than 60 recipes from 13 edible gardens in wine country, and includes suggested wine pairings.

Beringer Vineyards’ Golden Beet Gazpacho

Serves 6


3 extra-large golden beets, greens and any roots removed

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating beets and garnish

½ yellow onion, cut in 2 pieces

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic, peeled

Stems from 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ bunch fresh thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Sea salt


1½ cups water, divided use

2 navel oranges

Fleur de sel

Fresh micro cilantro or finely sliced cilantro, for garnish

Pansies, violas or other edible flowers, for garnish


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the beets lightly with oil, then put them into a baking dish with the onion, bay leaves, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly and bake until the beets are tender when pierced, 45 minutes or more, depending on size. Peel the beets while warm and cut into quarters. Strain the juices in the baking dish and reserve.

Cut a slice off both ends of each orange. Stand each orange on a cutting surface and remove all the peel and white pith by slicing from top to bottom all the way around the orange, following the contour of the fruit. Quarter each peeled orange.

Put the beets, oranges and strained juices into a blender and blend well. With the blender running, add the oil and the remaining 1 cup water through the opening in the blender lid and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, then season with sea salt.

Divide the soup among six bowls. Top each serving with a pinch of fleur de sel and a drizzle of oil. Garnish with cilantro and flowers.

Recommended wine pairing: Beringer Vineyards Luminus Chardonnay.

Chef’s tip: Save the nutrient-packed beet greens and boil or steam them, then cool and squeeze dry. Reheat with olive oil and minced garlic and serve with feta.

— Janet Fletcher, “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” (Harry N. Abrams, $40)



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