How: Make reservations.
Why: If you're wondering whether hunger is a problem in our fair city, it's estimated that 150,000 San Franciscans are at risk of going hungry this holiday season. For every $1 raised during this effort, the Food Bank can distribute $9 worth of food into the community, thanks to its relationships with retailers, growers and distributors. San Francisco Food Bank’s goal is to distribute 66,000 holiday meals this season. Help make the holidays a little brighter for everyone.
If you haven't eaten at A16 in a while, the A16 cookbook should whet your appetite. Here is a scrumptious recipe from A16 Food + Wine. The recommended wine to pair with this seasonal salad is Asprinio di Aversa from Campania.
Roasted Beet Salad with Fennel, Black Olives, and Pecorino
Serves: 4 to 6
2 bunches medium-sized red beets (about 8 total)
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for
roasting the beets
1 1⁄2 fennel bulbs
2⁄3 cup black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice,
or as needed
Block of aged pecorino for shaving
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Trim off the greens and the “tail” from each beet. (You can reserve the greens if they are in good condition and use them in the braised greens recipes on pages 230 and 232.) Place the beets in a roasting pan in which they fit snugly, and season with about 1 tablespoon salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover the pan and roast for 1 hour, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a wooden skewer or the tip of a paring knife. Remove the beets from the oven, let them cool just until they can be handled, and then rub off the skins with your fingers or peel them with a paring knife. Slice the beets into 1⁄3-inch-wide wedges. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, if still intact, cut off the stalks and feathery tops (reserve for another use) from the fennel bulbs. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise, then cut away the core. Cut the halves lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fennel slices and blanch for about 2 minutes, or until they lose their raw bite. Drain, shock in ice water to halt the cooking, drain again, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette, pulse the olives in a food processor until they form a chunky paste. Drizzle in the 1⁄4 cup olive oil and the vinegar and pulse briefly to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar if needed.
In a bowl, toss together the fennel and the 1⁄4 cup olive oil, coating the fennel evenly. Mix in the lemon juice and a pinch of salt, taste for seasoning, and adjust with more salt and⁄or lemon juice if needed. In a separate bowl, combine the beets and olive vinaigrette and toss until the beets are thoroughly coated with the vinaigrette.
To serve, place the beets in a salad bowl or on a platter and top with the fennel. Using a vegetable peeler, shave curls of pecorino over the salad. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted from A16 Food + Wine, copyright ©2008 by D.O.C. Restaurant Group, LLC, courtesy of Tenspeed Press.