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Warm beet salad with mushroom vinegar features Canadian ingredients

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Chef Terry Pichor favours using fresh ingredients on the menu at the secluded Sonora Island Resort in homage to the coastal region where it's located. Following is a recipe he created that features Canadian ingredients that would be perfect for to try at home to this Saturday to mark Food Day Canada.

Sonora Island Resort is one of about 250 restaurants across the country that are celebrating Food Day Canada.

Warm "Entire" Beet Salad With Charred Mushroom Vinegar

Chopped hazelnuts add texture to whole roasted beets for a hearty dish. The vinegar must be made a few days ahead.

9 medium beets, tops on

50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

75 ml (1/3 cup) mushroom vinegar (recipe follows)

1 small red onion, finely diced

3 stalks rosemary, picked and chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) toasted chopped hazelnuts

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Cut stalks and leaves off beet. Remove stalks from leaves, then cut leaves into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

In a saucepot, cover beets with cold water and cook until fork tender. While warm, wipe skin off beets using a kitchen towel. Let cool, then cut into wedges.

Toss cut beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a high-sided roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. While warm, mix with beet greens, mushroom vinegar, red onion and rosemary.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with hazelnuts.

Makes 6 servings.

Wine Pairing: Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Reserve Merlot 2012.

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Mushroom Vinegar

500 ml (2 cups) mushroom stems (preferably shiitake)

500 ml (2 cups) seasoned rice vinegar

30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce

Over high heat, grill or pan sear mushroom stalks until a medium char exists.

Mix together vinegar, soy sauce and stalks.

Place in a covered container. Let sit for at least 2 days before using.

Source: Tim Mackiddie, chef of Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

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