- 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 cups rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon anise seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 large beets, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/3 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 pound smoked trout fillets, skinned and coarsely flaked
- 4 cups mâche or mesclun mix
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- In a blender, puree the chives with the canola oil. Scrape the oil into a small bowl and season with salt.
- In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, anise seeds and cumin seeds with 4 cups of water. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the beets, reduce the heat to moderately high and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the liquid. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the beet cooking liquid to a small bowl and add the lemon juice.
- Light a grill or heat a lightly oiled grill pan or cast-iron skillet. Pat the beet slices dry with paper towels. Brush each slice on both sides with the olive oil and grill for about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly charred. Transfer to a large plate and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the beet slices in a circle on 4 plates, overlapping the slices slightly. Scatter the trout over the beets and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of chive oil and 2 teaspoons of the lemon-beet juice around each plate. Mound the mâche in the center of the beets, sprinkle with a little chive oil and the lemon zest and serve.
The chive oil can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Let the oil return to room temperature before using.