michael pollan recipe
Photo: Coral Von Zumwalt
Pollan makes a sauce gribiche for this dish by whisking 2 hardboiled-egg yolks into olive oil, then adding 2 chopped egg whites into the finished salsa.

Serves 6


  • 4 medium beets (about 1 pound)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 6 cups)
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thickly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. brined capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cornichons (French gherkins)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced


Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange beets in a baking dish and add water to reach a depth of ½ inch. Cover dish with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 1½ hours. When cooled, peel and slice into wedges.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Return water to a boil and repeat process with leeks.

In a medium bowl, stir together oil, parsley, capers, cornichons, zest, ¾ tsp. salt, pepper, and garlic to make a salsa verde.

Arrange beets on a large serving platter and drizzle 3 Tbsp. salsa verde on top. Toss cauliflower and leeks with 6 Tbsp. salsa verde and scatter over beets, then drizzle remaining salsa verde over top. Serve at room temperature.

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