Beetroot and Chevre Salad; the Vide Grenier

Beetroot and Chevre Salad

First: A contest!

Anyone know what this is?Wood

Any guesses?

Yes, I know…..

But I’m not telling….

I will tell you that it’s very old, very French and very, um, useful.

Just to make it interesting, the first person that correctly identifies it wins ……

A cookbook: Williams-Sonoma ‘Hors d’Oeuvre’

The friends we were sharing a booth with at the boot sale (vide grenier, garage sale, yard sale) had it….Didn’t sell.

A vide grenier (empty attic) is the communal equivalent of an estate sale.

This is what I learned about boot sales:Vide-grenier

If they tell you to be there between 7 and 8, be there by 7.

If it opens at 9 be ready for your first customer before 8.

At least half the stuff you sell is to other stall holders… Try not to go home with more than you brought.

Most of the Brits come before lunch and spend money.

Most of the French come after lunch and don’t.

All of the professionals (of which there weren’t supposed to be any) go home during lunch… See above.

Oh yes, during lunch there is no one anywhere – except at the sausage stand.

Things that I thought would jump off the table didn’t get touched: cute and originally expensive American knickknack/collectible stuff, cheap paperbacks, games.

Things that I thought would never sell (but why not try) disappeared to shouts of glee: KLM little Dutch houses – given away as free gifts on long flights, books on the Smithsonian, old atlases (U.S.S.R?).

Even if it’s cloudy, sunscreen is needed.

Well, that last bit is pretty well known but it seemed to escape me in the thrill of selling my precious possessions for 50 cents each….

Brits will haggle: price – offer – counteroffer – sale.

French won’t: price – offer – counteroffer – shrug and walk away.

French provide clean, real bathrooms with toilet paper…. that are still clean at the end of the day.  Most important!

For the record, we went home with far less then we arrived with – I only bought 1 small vase and no books, and over 125 euros!

We declared it a success.  And it was fun besides!

Last spring I did a post on pickled beets (beetroot).

We can’t actually buy them raw here (strange, isn’t it?), but they are available cooked, either already packaged or in a large bowl, with a big fork to use to pick them out.

I had been seeing so many wonderful recipes using beetroot on Pille’s blog, Nami Nami, I finally succumbed and bought some.

About time!

They can be a bit messy to cook, and tend to stain everything a lovely red, but with all the work done?

How easy is that?

This is based on one of Pille’s recipes:

Beet (root) and Chevre Salad

2 medium beets, cooked Beet Root and Chevre Salad
small log of aged chevre (goat cheese)
2 tbs fresh snipped chives
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Slice beets and cut slices into halves or quarters.  Toss with 3/4 of the vinaigrette and arrange on a plate.  Add sliced goat cheese.  Sprinkle with chives and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tbs Balsamic wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbs good olive oil

In small bowl whisk mustard, sugar and vinegar. Slowly add oil whisking constantly.

I was amazed at how well the earthy flavor of the beets went with the slight sharpness of the chevre!

Thanks, Pille!

Now, back to the contest: leave your guesses in the comments….

First right guess wins!

21 thoughts on “Beetroot and Chevre Salad; the Vide Grenier”

  1. Is it something that would hold a commode? Definitely not something used to cook beets! I too love the precooked beets that I can find in my supermarkets now — though nothing compares to the taste of fresh beets, roasted on the grill, the precooked ones are great for a quick weeknight salad.

  2. Sorry, everyone… but it has nothing to do with chamber pots or toilets…
    Here’s another clue: Every family would have one if they could (IMHO)
    Pille – you have me hooked on beets.
    Lydia, you can get pre-cooked ones too?!?
    Now if only I could get fresh!
    Val, I’m rapidly becoming a big fan!

  3. I’m guessing that this is a stanchion for milk goats – put their head in while you milk them so they can’t get loose and kick you! 🙂
    I’m not a huge fan of beets, but I did pickle some a few years back. With goat cheese – maybe?!

  4. One of my favourite combos Katie. But actually I could eat beetroot with anything. It is almost all I ate when pregnant.

  5. My guess is that this is an herb stand. You can put pots of different herbs and hold them in the stand which you can keep right outside your kitchen door.

  6. Sorry, Angie and Tanna: not for brollies or boots.
    Shayne and Tammy – good guess, but it has nothing to do with milking any animal.
    African Vanielje, I had a cousin that livbed on radishes… I think I’d prefer beetroot!
    Ana, nice guess – and thanks for playing… But, No, not an herb stand.
    Christing, the salad was good… Not even a wild guess?

  7. I have no idea what your (lovely) contraption might be – I still think it has to be related to a commode 🙂 But I can tell you that your salad is wonderfully tasty! I made it just the other night with a roasted chicken and it was perfect – used a goat feta because I didn’t have just normal chevre but it was still delish! It IS odd what possessions we have that other people will buy – and the difference between what it meant to us, and what they think it means!

  8. oh man and I love william sonoma cookbooks too…..hummmmm a bike stand, I have no clue but i can guess.
    I think it is supposed to stand on its end and maybe there is something missing that we don’t see….yes I am fishing

  9. OK – I’m trying again! (Is that allowed?) The other thing that came to my mind was the stocks. You know… someone is in trouble, so you put them in the stocks for a length of time as punishment… It looks like the piece on top opens so you can put someone’s head in there!

  10. Michelle, goat feta? Sounds yummy, I only get sheep….
    Shayne… um, no.
    Tammy, you’re in the right era, wrong use, tho.
    Thanks, Betsy, and, same principle but no blade… You’ll cringe when you find out why.
    Zoomie, tomorrow!
    Chris, for me, anything with goat cheese…

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